LOS ANGELES – Actor Anne Heche suffered an “anoxic” brain injury and is not expected to survive, her spokesman said Thursday, nearly a week after she crashed her car into a Los Angeles home.
“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable,” the spokesman said in a statement on behalf of her friends and family.
On Monday, Heche, 53, was in a coma and in “extreme” condition, his representative said. The spokesman said Heche was “unconscious, going into a coma” after the crash.
Anoxic injuries occur when the brain is cut off from oxygen, causing cell death.
Heche, who was at West Hills Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center, remained in a coma and in critical condition Thursday, the statement said.
Heche broke into a home in the Mar Vista community of Los Angeles on Friday morning. The home sustained “heavy fire” damage from the collision, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
She had drugs in her system and was being investigated for possibly driving under the influence, police said Thursday.
“In preliminary tests, the blood draw revealed the presence of drugs,” Los Angeles police said in a statement.
Police could not “comment at this time on the presence of cocaine, fentanyl or alcohol at this time,” they said Thursday. “That will be determined by the second test.”
“The case is being investigated as a felony DUI traffic collision,” the statement said.
Heche landed her first notable roles on the soap opera “Another World,” playing Vicky Hudson and Marley Love in the early 1990s.
Later that decade, films like “Donnie Brasco,” “Volcano,” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” helped propel his fame within Hollywood and beyond.
His television credits include “Chicago PD” and “Men in Trees.”
He met talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in 1997, when Vince Vaughn, his “Return to Paradise” co-star, introduced them at a restaurant in the Los Angeles area.
Heche and DeGeneres became romantically involved in a relationship that Heche said was groundbreaking for the time because of the global attention they received as Hollywood stars in a same-sex romance.
“My story is a story that created change in the world, moved the needle forward for equal rights, when I fell in love with Ellen DeGeneres,” he said in a segment taped that year for the show ” Dancing With the Stars.”
When their three-year relationship ended in 2000, Heche was hospitalized after she was found wandering a rural area of Fresno County, Calif., acting disoriented and confused, authorities said.
Heche described his struggles with his mental health in his 2001 memoir, “Call Me Crazy.”
“I wanted to beat everyone else to the punch,” he said of the book in an interview that year with Larry King. “I know what has been written about me in the press. I, although I was never diagnosed as crazy, I went crazy.”
Heche said she couldn’t be hired for a role by a major studio for nearly a decade.
He later married Coley Laffoon and the couple had a son together before divorcing. She had another child in 2009 with actor James Tupper, her “Men in Trees” co-star; they separated
In her family’s statement, Heche was described as someone with a “huge heart” and someone who “touched everyone with her generous spirit.”
“More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work, especially moving the needle on accepting those you love,” the statement said. “She will be remembered for her brave honesty and will be greatly missed for her light.”