Paralyzed Stroke Victim Can't Respond As Doctors Discuss Organ Donation
You know those nightmares where someone is trying to chase you but you’re stuck in slow motion and can’t get away? This is as close to a real life version of that as it gets.
Swedish man Jim Fritze suffered a stroke during a vacation two years ago. He was transported to a hospital where doctors told his family his chances of survival were slim. After viewing a scan of his brain, doctors told Fritze’s girlfriend there was no hope. She and others gathered around Fritze as doctors discussed whether his organs would be harvested following his death.
Here’s the thing: Fritze could hear the whole thing. He just had no way of grabbing the doctor’s attention.
“Only my ears and eyes were working,” he told The Local.
Three days later, another physician returned from a trip and looked at Fritze’s brain scans. Luckily, this doctor had a much different opinion on Fritze’s fate.
“She looked at my scans and said ‘This doesn't look too bad’ and told the staff to give me cortisone to bring down the swelling in my brain,” he said.
Sure enough, Fritze started to recover. Today, two years later, he is finally healthy enough to file a complaint to the health and welfare board in Sweden. The complaint is being filed because doctors in Sweden are forbidden from discussing organ donation until a patient has been declared legally dead. If doctors had followed this rule, Fritze would have been sparred the terrifying experience.
A spokesperson from Sahlgrenska Hospital says the staff is taking Fritze’s complaint very seriously.
“As always, we are cooperating with IVO (Nursing and Care Review) to get to the bottom of what has happened, and before that we cannot go into detail regarding an individual case,” the spokesperson said. “We are of course taking this complaint very seriously, as we do with all complaints.”