by Rebecca Millette
Madeleine Gauron, a Quebec, Canada, woman identified as viable for organ donation after doctors diagnosed her as “brain dead,” surprised her family and physicians when she recovered from a coma, opened her eyes, and began eating.
The 76-year-old woman was hospitalized at the Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville for an inflammation of the gums, which required a brief operation. During her recovery, hospital staff gave the elderly woman solid food, which she had been unable to consume in her family home for some time, and left her unattended. Choking on the food, she fell into a coma, after unsuccessful resuscitation.
Medical staff contacted her family, explaining to them that their mother was “brain dead,” with no hope of recovery. Citing Gauron’s eyes as particularly viable, the doctors asked if the family would agree to organ donation.
While supporting the possibility of donation, her shocked family first demanded further medical tests to prove Gauron was really dead.
The next day, the family was astonished to learn that Gauron had awakened. Shortly afterwards, she sat up in bed and ate yogurt.
“If we had decided to donate her organs, they would have killed her,” said her son.
“It makes no sense to treat people like that. Although she is 76 years old and is ill, she did not have to suffer all this,” insisted her daughter.