Actor Anne Heche has been taken off life support nine days after she was critically injured in a fiery car crash.
The ‘Donnie Brasco’ star was declared “legally dead according to California law” on Friday at the age of 53 after suffering a severe anoxic brain injury following an accident in Los Angeles earlier this month but her family wanted to wait until organ donor matches had been found before turning off the machines keeping her alive.
A spokesperson has since confirmed organ recipients had been identified and said in a statement: “Anne Heche has been peacefully taken off life support.”
Prior to being declared brain dead, it was explained that the ‘Another World’ actress was “not expected” to survive injuries brought on by the smash but it had “long been her choice” to donate her organs.
A family statement read: “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. It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable.” Anne’s family and friends have praised the star’s ability to “spread kindness and joy” in her life, and say she will be remembered for her “courageous honesty”. The ‘Donnie Brisco’ is survived by her ex-husband Coleman ‘Coley’ Laffoon – with whom she has 20-year-old Homer and also has 13-year-old son Atlas from her relationship with actor James Tupper.
Laffoon previously said in a statement: “In the wake of Anne’s passing, I just wanted to say a few things. One, I loved her and I miss her and I’m always going to. Two, Homer is OK. “He’s grieving, of course, and it’s rough. It’s really rough, as probably anybody can imagine, but he’s surrounded by family, and he’s strong, and he’s going to be OK. So for all those people checking in, thank your for checking in, showing us your heart, offering prayers and everything. It’s so beautiful. Thank you.”