Why Anne Heche Was Taken Off Life Support After Her Death Announcement

Anne Heche was involved in a fatal car crash on August 5 after the Mini Cooper she was driving smashed into a house in Mar Vista, Los Angeles. TMZ obtained footage of the incident, which showed Heche allegedly "driving like a maniac" as she sped down a residential road. She first crashed into an apartment block garage, reversed, and then drove into the house. The collision caused the building and car to burst into flames, leaving Heche with severe burns and head injuries.

She was rushed to the hospital, but as new reports about Heche's condition came to light, it became apparent that there was nothing medics could do to save her. A spokesperson told Deadline she was in a coma after suffering a "significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention." The Guardian reported the "Donnie Brasco" star was officially declared dead on August 12. Heche was only 53 and left behind two sons, Homer Lafoon and Atlas Tupper.

"After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness," Homer said in a heartbreaking statement (via People). "Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom." Following the announcement of Heche's tragic death, she remained in the hospital, hooked up to a ventilator for several days. Why Anne Heche was eventually taken off life support on August 14 is both moving and bittersweet.

Anne Heche's death saved others' lives

After officially being declared dead on August 12, Anne Heche remained in the hospital hooked up to a ventilator for three days. Despite being deemed "legally dead," Heche's heart was kept beating, so medical staff could harvest her organs if and when eligible matches were found. "It has long been her choice to donate her organs, and she's being kept on life support to determine if any are viable," her rep told People.

After doctors located suitable transplantation patients, the actor was removed from assisted ventilation. "Anne Heche has been peacefully taken off life support," her rep told People. It's not been disclosed which or how many organs were removed or who any of the donors are. However, sources told TMZ that Heche had requested "multiple organs" be donated in the event of her passing. Heche's tragic death could result in potentially saving the lives of numerous others.

Penn Medicine reports there has been a dramatic drop in transplant operations since the COVID pandemic due to a lack of organ donors. According to data gathered, France has suffered a 91% decrease in transplant procedures while the U.S. has dropped by 50%. Government donor statistics show that "17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant." While 105,721 "men, women, and children" are on transplant waiting lists nationwide. You can register to be a donor here.