Monday, 30 April 2012

'Brain Dead' Man is now Trainee Accountant

An article published by The Christian Institute highlights the case of Steven Thorpe who was declared 'brain dead' by doctors and his family advised to switch off his life support machine. Doctors said he would never recover from his injuries sustained in a car crash aged 17.

They chose to get a second opinion. Steven, now 21, said:

“I think the doctors wanted to give me three days on the life support machine and the following day they said they wanted to turn it off. The words they used to my parents were ‘you need to start thinking about organ donations’. I think that’s what gave my dad energy, he thought ‘no way’."

Steven is currently training to be an accountant. He has had four operations to reconstruct his face so far since leaving hospital.

The University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said:

“The injury to Steven’s brain was extremely critical and several CT scans of the head showed almost irreversible damage. It is extremely rare that a patient having suffered such extensive trauma to the brain should survive.”

This raises lots of questions about the switching off of life support machines. Often families are reluctant to 'let go' of loved ones, and often claim to see flickers of life. Sometimes these are genuine, other times wishful thinking. Steven's family had to go private for a second opinion, should this be standard on the NHS? Just because a recovery is 'rare' and damage is 'almost irreversible' should families be given 3 days?

The article links to other stories of 'miralce' recoveries:

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