A mum thought to be dead opened her eyes as surgeons were about to remove her organs for transplant.
Colleen Burns, 41, was being prepared as a donor when she showed a flicker of life – and went on to make a miraculous recovery.
The mother of three had been admitted to hospital following a drug overdose – and was later pronounced dead.
Medics ordered her body to be taken to theatre to harvest her vital organs.
But they failed to carry out a number of basic tests – including an examination to see if her brain was still functioning.
The blunder led to her heartbroken family giving permission for her life support to be switched off and her organs donated.
In reality Colleen was in a coma brought on by the drugs she had taken.
After her shock awakening she was discharged two weeks later from St Joseph’s hospital in New York.
The case, which happened in October 2009, only came to light following an investigation by journalists – and the hospital has now been fined £4,000 by health chiefs for its failings.
Troubled Colleen never bothered to sue over the incident. And, sadly, 16 months later she took her own life.
Her mother, Lucille, said: “She was so depressed that it really didn’t make any difference to her.”
A hospital spokesman said: “We have learned from this and made changes.” …