Anne Heche is on life support after sustaining a brain injury in a fire crash a week ago and is not expected to survive, according to a statement from her representative.
The actress is in a coma and in critical condition but is being kept alive for possible organ donation, according to the letter issued Thursday night on behalf of her family and friends.
Heche, who was hospitalized at West Hills Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center north of Los Angeles, suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury,” according to the statement. Such injury is caused by a sustained lack of oxygen to the brain.
“She is not expected to survive,” the statement says. “For a long time it has been her choice to donate her organs and she is kept on life support to determine if any are viable.”
On the morning of August 5, Heche’s car crashed into a house in a neighborhood in West Los Angeles and a fire broke out with the car embedded inside the house.
On Thursday, police said they were investigating Heche for driving under the influence of alcohol. Detectives with a search warrant took a blood sample from him and found narcotics in his system, said LAPD spokesman Jeff Lee.
Toxicology tests, which can take weeks to complete, must be performed to more clearly identify the drugs and differentiate them from any medications you may have been given for treatment in the hospital.
Evidence of the crash is still being collected, police said, and they will present a case to prosecutors if warranted when the investigation is complete.
A representative for Heche declined to comment on the investigation.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Heche, Heather Duffy Boylston, said the actress had been in a coma since after the accident, with burns requiring surgery and lung injuries requiring the use of a ventilator to breathe.
“Anne had a big heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit. More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work, especially tipping the scales for acceptance of the one one loves,” Thursday’s statement said. “We will remember her for her brave honesty and for her much missed light.”
Heche, 53, was one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars in the late 1990s, starring alongside actors like Johnny Depp in “Donnie Brasco” and Harrison Ford in “Six Days, Seven Nights” (” Six days and seven nights”). In a 2001 memoir, she discussed her lifelong struggles with mental health.
He recently had recurring roles on the television series “Chicago PD” and “All Rise”, and in 2020 he participated in “Dancing With the Stars”.