A 13-year-old boy in Alabama who suffered a severe brain injury in a vehicle accident miraculously regained consciousness after his parents signed organ donation papers.
Trenton McKinley, of Mobile, suffered seven skull fractures in an accident two months ago when the small utility trailer he rode flipped over and landed on his head.
“I hit the concrete, and the trailer landed on top of my head. After that, I don’t remember anything,” Trenton told WALA.
Doctors gave his parents little hope that he would ever recover from the accident, telling his mother he “would never be normal” if he did.
“All I saw was a stretcher with his feet hanging out. He was dead a total of 15 minutes,” Trenton’s mother, Jennifer Reindl, said. “When he came back, they said he would never be normal again. They told me the oxidation problems would be so bad to his brain, that he would be a vegetable if he even made it.”
Reindl made the heart-wrenching decision to sign papers allowing Trenton’s’ organs to be donated to five children needing transplants when Trenton could no longer breathe without life support.
“Five kids needed organs that matched him,” Reindl said. “It was unfair to keep bringing him back, because it was just damaging his organs even more.”
But the day before doctors were scheduled to end Trenton’s life support and declare him brain dead, the boy showed signs of brain activity and movement. Eventually, Trenton began breathing without assistance and speaking in full sentences.
Trenton’s recovery is still ongoing— he suffers from nerve pain and seizures and has to undergo surgery to reconnect a missing piece of his skull, but his mother is optimistic that her son is getting stronger each day.
“From no brain waves to now walking and talking and reading, doing math. A miracle,” she said.
A Facebook fundraising page for the boy set up by his family raised more than $11,000 as of Monday afternoon, well beyond its initial goal of $4,000.