Trenton McKinley defied all odds. After the 13-year-old boy was severely injured in a dune buggy accident, his parents made the difficult decision to donate his organs following days of him being apparently brain dead, according to Fox 10. But after the papers were signed, he miraculously regained consciousness.
The incident happened two months ago, when McKinley was playing at a friend’s house in Alabama. While the teen was riding in a small utility trailer being pulled by a dune buggy, his friend suddenly hit the brakes and caused the trailer to flip.
“I hit the concrete and the trailer landed on top of my head,” recalled McKinley, speaking to Fox 10. “After that, I don’t remember anything.”
His mother, Jennifer Reindl, told the outlet that her son had been dead for 15 minutes when she arrived at USA Medical Center in Mobile.
All I saw was a stretcher with his feet hanging out. He was dead a total of 15 minutes,” she said, adding that doctors prepared her for the worst. “When he came back, they said he would never be normal again. They told me the oxidation problems would be so bad to his brain, that he would be a vegetable if he even made it.”
After days of being brain dead, McKinley’s parents decided to donate his organs to five children in need that were a match for the teen.
“They said the next time his heart stopped they had to let him die….this was a [Saturday]….or I could sign a paper to donate his organs to save five other kids….and they would keep hitting him with adrenaline till monday….so I signed it,” Reindl wrote on a Facebook page set up to help raise funds for his recovery. “His eyes were solid black and dry and I knew he would not hesitate to save 5 more lives.”
She continued, “The next day I got a call….they canceled the final brain wave test….right before they hooked him up his hand moved Then his feet…so they looked at his eyes and they were back….he had blue eyes….now they are green with small white specks like glitter…they say when you look upon god…pigment changes…and my baby was in heaven for a whole day….he is a miracle.”
However, McKinley began showing signs of brain activity just one day before doctors were set to take him off life support.
McKinley suffered multiple skull fractures as well as kidney failure “due to the lack of oxygen after his cardiac arrest,” according to the Facebook page. Fox 10 reported that he continues to suffer from nerve pain and seizures every day, but he’s keeping a positive attitude.
“I said I could turn sideways and put salsa in there and eat chips and dip out of my head,” he joked to Fox 10. “No more washing dishes for me!”
He’s had three brain surgeries and continues to make progress as he recovers at home. A video posted to Facebook showed McKinley sinking a basketball into a hoop at rehab last month, while another showed him taking a stroll with the help of a walker.
McKinley told Fox 10 that he feels he was in heaven while he was unconscious.
“I was in an open field walking straight,” he explained. “There’s no other explanation but God. There’s no other way. Even doctors said it.”