A teenage girl in a coma after a catastrophic car crash came round just as doctors were about to declare her brain dead.
Carina Melchior had had life support withdrawn on the advice of medics and was being prepared for organ donation.
But to the astonishment of staff at the Aarhus Hospital, in Denmark, the 19-year-old suddenly opened her eyes and started moving her legs.
She is now making a good recovery at a rehabilitation centre and is able to walk, talk and even ride her horse Mathilde.
Her family is now suing the hospital for damages, claiming that doctors had been desperate to harvest her body parts.
‘Those bandits in white coats gave up too quickly because they wanted an organ donor,’ her father Kim told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
The family’s lawyer Nils Fjeldberg said that Ms Melchior keeps asking if doctors were trying to kill her.
‘Of course this is a great trauma, both for her and her parents who were convinced that there was nothing else that could be done and agreed to donate her organs,’ he told the newspaper.
Ms Melchior, now 20, crashed her car in October last year.
She was in hospital for three days before doctors realised her brain activity was fading and consulted her family about stopping treatment.
It was at this point they agreed to donate her organs.
In a documentary about her life called ‘The girl who wouldn’t die’, Carina says she is convinced she will recover and that hopes to move in to her own flat in the future.
‘And I will be working as a graphic designer and be able to ride Mathilde properly,’ she said.
The case has sparked a public debate in Denmark about donations and end-of-life treatments, with registered donors withdrawing consent in fear of doctors acting too quickly.
The Danish government is drawing up new guidelines to prevent doctors from making preparations to remove organs until the patient is officially declared clinically dead.
However, medical experts say the preparations made before a patient is declared brain dead are vital to ensure that correct matches are made between organ donors and receivers.
One Danish doctor who spoke to MailOnline said it was an unfortunate case of miscommunication between Carina’s family and the doctors at Aarhus.
‘The story says a lot about the importance of communication in a doctor-patient relationship,’ the doctor said. ‘If the doctors had expressed themselves differently, the parents would not have felt so maltreated.’
‘From a medical point of view, no mistakes have been made. The girl was never declared brain-dead, that was never the case.
‘In fact, the doctors saved her life with the treatment they gave her.
‘And they were not going to ‘take’ her organs, it was merely a conversation about organ donation if she would become brain dead.’
The doctors at Aarhus hospital has apologised for the failures in communication during Carina’s treatment and have said they made a mistake.