Stroke patient hears doctors discuss donating his organs

SWEDEN - A man who was paralyzed after suffering a massive stroke claims he could hear doctors discussing whether to donate his organs just before they gave him a sedative that put him under.

Jimi Fritze said he was conscious, but he was unable to alert the medical staff and he feared he would be unable to save himself as they sedated him.

"I went to sleep … I couldn’t be awake. I thought I was going to die then,” Fritze told ABC News.

Fritze, 42, suffered his stroke two years ago in Sweden where he lives. He recently filed a complaint about the medical care he received at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, with the Swedish National Health and Welfare Board, which oversees quality of healthcare in Sweden. Calls to the Swedish National Health and Welfare Board were not immediately answered.

A spokesperson for the Sahlgrenska University Hospital sent a translated statement and said the hospital was investigating the incident.

"We cannot say much. We cooperate with the [Health and Social Care Inspectorate] about this investigation,“ read the statement. “We take it very seriously, as with all notifications."

When Fritz was in his hospital bed, he said he remembers hearing doctors discuss the possibility of organ donation, although Fritze had not yet been declared brain dead.

Fritze said that doctors even discussed the possibility of organ donation with his family, but before further steps were taken to remove medical care, another doctor gave a second opinion and found that the swelling in Fritze's brain might be a sign that he could recover, Fritze's said in the complaint.

Doctors were able to help bring down the swelling and he eventually was able to “wake-up” and communicate with his family weeks later.

Fritze is still recovering both mobility and speech, and is still unable to walk.

“When I woke up the first time I could only move my finger. Now I can move every part of my body. I cannot walk yet,” said Fritze. “That is my wish is to walk again.”
 

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