• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Stroke patient overhears organ donation chat

The Local · 3 Apr 2014, 17:50

Published: 03 Apr 2014 15:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2014 17:50 GMT+02:00

Fritze, 43, suffered a stroke almost two years ago when he was out in the Gothenburg archipelago with his family.

"I managed to catch my girlfriend's attention - I was bright red in the face. she's a nurse so she managed to keep my airways open," he told The Local.

But as the ambulance helicopter was unable to land on the small island, Fritze had to wait for a boat to take him into Sahlgrenska hospital, where he arrived an hour and a half after the stroke.

"Only my ears and eyes were working," Fritze said.

After doctors looked at a scan of his brain, they went to tell the family the bad news.

"They told my girlfriend that there was no hope," he said.

As almost 14 members of his family came in to say goodbye to him, the doctors brought up the question of organ donation, which, as he would later underscore in an official complaint, Swedish doctors are not supposed to do until the patient has been diagnosed as brain dead.

Frtize heard every word, but had no way to get the doctors' or his family's attention.

It would take three days until he got a second opinion, as another doctor returned from holiday.

"She looked at my scans and said 'This doesn't look too bad' and told the staff to give me cortisone to bring down the swelling in my brain," Fritze recalled. "But even so, my girlfriend and my sister had to fight with the night nurse to give me cortisone, and this was just one day before they had said they would make a final 'chance of survival' assessment."

While he then improved, it would take another three weeks before he could communicate with his family. Two years later, he still struggles with his speech. He said it had taken him so long to report the treatment to the authorities for two reasons. Firstly, he had simply been too unwell to take the task on. Secondly, an item on the news spurred him into action.

Story continues below…

"It was about a Danish woman. They took her off life support, but then she survived. But there was some boss or another from the Swedish National Health and Welfare Board who said on the TV news that 'This would never happen in Sweden'," Fritze told The Local.

He has now sent an official complaint to the health and welfare board, which oversees quality of healthcare in Sweden.

"If that doctor hadn't come back from (her) holiday, would I have been made to lie there until my body couldn't take it any longer?" Fritze queried in his complaint.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Video
The top reactions to Swedish high heels handyman video
Andersson was in agony after a day of laying floors in high heels. Photo: Emil Andersson

What did The Local's readers think about this viral clip challenging sexist beauty ideals?

Transport authorities call for probe into tech glitch
SAS aircraft grounded at Arlanda airport last week. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

But officials say it was not sabotage that caused last week's network failure, which knocked out large parts of Swedish air traffic.

Why northern Swedes get the hots for sex toys
File photo of handcuffs. Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/SvD/TT

Where in Sweden do people buy the most sex toys? Kiruna in the far north, apparently.

Royal baptism day for Sweden's Prince Oscar
Prince Oscar with Archbishop Antje Jackelén. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

UPDATED: Royalty, dignitaries and other esteemed figures took to Stockholm's Royal Chapel for the ceremony.

Giant replica of Swedish 18th century ship up for sale
The Götheborg setting sail from Stockholm in 2008. Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

A replica of a doomed Swedish merchant vessel that sank in 1745 within sight of its home port of Gothenburg has been put up for sale.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Öresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

Dozens of attempts have been made, but this is the first successful crossing since Sweden introduced ID and border checks.

Brexit
Poll: Swedes are worried about Brexit consequences
The possibility of Brexit has Swedes worried about the EU's future. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Swedes are worried about what may happen both at home and abroad if Britain votes to leave the EU in June.

The Local Recipes
Fend off the bad weather with a Swedish beetroot salad
Beetroot salad with cumin and feta. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Rain, rain, go away.

How a Swedish rocker saved the life of this cute baby elk
Erik Brodén's daughters Tyra and Brita with the elk baby. Photo: Private

Probably the sweetest story you'll read today.

Man sentenced over dinner party murder in west Sweden
The man during a preliminary court hearing last year. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

He stabbed his friend at a dinner party and attempted to kill two others.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Gallery
The best, cutest and funniest snaps from Prince Oscar's christening
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Travel
Is this town the best place in Sweden?
Gallery
People-watching: May 25th
Blog updates

27 May

Editor’s blog, May 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, Would you spend a day doing manual labour in high heels? That’s what Swedish…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Society
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Sport
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
3,379
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se