A man declared brain dead by four doctors made an extraordinary recovery after his parents asked for another opinion before their son’s life support was switched off.
Steven Thorpe was 17 when he suffered horrific injures following a crash involving three cars. He was rushed to hospital where doctors put him in a coma.
Doctors told Steven’s family that he would never recover and asked them to consider donating his organs.
But Steven’s dad sought another opinion and enlisted the help of Julia Piper, a private GP.
Speaking about the ordeal for the first time Steven said: “My impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very happy that my father wanted a second opinion.
“I think the doctors wanted to give me three days on the life support machine and the following day they said they wanted to turn it off.
“The words they used to my parents were ‘you need to start thinking about organ donations’. I think that’s what gave my dad energy, he thought ‘no way’.
“I think if my dad would’ve agreed with them then it would’ve been off in seconds. If my parents hadn’t asked for the second opinion, and if Julia hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Steven is now 21 and training to be an accountant. Since being released from hospital he has had four operations to reconstruct his face.
Dr Piper said: “They had doctors saying he wasn’t going to live but the parents felt there was flickers of response and it wasn’t just wishful thinking.”
She added that “eventually I got someone else to look at him and of course it proved to have been the right thing to have done”.”
In a statement, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said: “The injury to Steven’s brain was extremely critical and several CT scans of the head showed almost irreversible damage.
“It is extremely rare that a patient having suffered such extensive trauma to the brain should survive.”
The Trust added that staff were “delighted” to see the recovery and progress Steven had made.