Actress Anne Heche was declared dead on Friday by her representative, a week after a deadly car crash that left her with severe burns that made her slip into a coma. Heche's representative confirmed on Friday that the actress was left "brain dead" and under California law she was dead.
Heche was admitted to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in northwestern Los Angeles, after a horrific crash on August 5. She passed away at the hospital on Friday morning, according to a statement from her representative on Friday. The actress was 53 years old. "We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," the statement said.
Heche was "brain dead" according to a report in TMZ and she was put on life support. Her family was waiting to turn off the life support after checking if her organs were viable for donation as she had always wanted to donate her organs.
Her life support was finally turned off on Friday.
"Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," a representative for the star told People in a statement on behalf of Heche's family and friends.
"Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact," the statement from her family sent through a representative read.
Heche was kept on a ventilator until her final moments. "It has long been her choice to donate her organs," her spokesperson had told Page Six this week.
Heche, who is best known for her role as Patricia Campbell in the NBC drama "The Brave," was rendered unconscious following the crash on August 5 after sustaining severe burns.
After colliding with a house in Los Angeles on August 5, Heche was reported to be in "stable" condition by the actor's publicist. This raised hopes that Heche would recover. She was reportedly communicating with the firefighters as they cut her free from the debris and transported her to the hospital.
After realizing that Heche was not expected to live, Heche's ex-girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres tweeted her grief. "This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love."
Heche was under the influence when she rammed her blue Mini Cooper into a suburban LA home, starting a major fire, according to police. The actress had consumed cocaine that may have contained fentanyl prior to the accident, according to law enforcement officials quoted by TMZ.
A spokesman for her family revealed on Thursday that she had passed away and was only being kept alive by life support so that her organs could be removed for donation. "We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne's recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital."
"Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive."
Heche's representative informed Page Six on Thursday that the incident caused "a significant anoxic brain injury." The Los Angeles Police Department acquired a warrant to check her blood alcohol content, Shortly after removing the actress from the rubble.
The outcomes have not yet been made public.
Heche was expected to survive initially but her condition deteriorated as she never came out of the coma. She even spoke to the firefighters after she was rescued following the crash.
However, after being admitted to the hospital, the actor lost consciousness shortly after. On Monday, Heche's agents provided an update stating that she was in "extreme critical condition".
Her family released a statement on Friday informing the public that she was not expected to live and was being kept on life support so doctors could see if they might donate any of her organs.
And on Friday, her life support was finally taken off.