NEW YORK (CBS)— A 13-year-old Alabama boy is recovering from an accident no one thought he’d survive. In fact, doctors declared him dead and were getting ready to donate his organs when he regained consciousness.

“He was dead a total of 15 minutes,” said Jennifer Reindl, Trenton McKinley’s mom. “All I saw was a stretcher with his feet. They actually stapled that side shut so they could get him back breathing. When he came back they said he would never be normal again.”

The 13-year-old was at a friend’s house two months ago, playing in a small utility trailer while being pulled by a dune buggy.

“It flipped and I hit the concrete, and the trailer landed on top of my head,” said Trenton. “After that, I don’t remember anything.”

Trenton suffered severe brain trauma and was rushed to an Alabama hospital with seven skull fractures. He was declared brain dead and his parents signed paperwork to donate his organs to save five other children.

“It was unfair to keep bringing him back, because it was just damaging his organs even more,” Jennifer said.

But then, the day before doctors were set to take him off life support, Trenton woke up. Now he’s in rehab, and although he has a long road ahead, he’s getting stronger every day.

“There’s no other explanation but God,” Trenton said. “There’s no other way that I could have came back.”

These cases are fairly rare, reports CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula. She says while it’s hard to know what exactly happened with this case because of privacy laws, the story does give people a reason to hope.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Comments
  1. Wonderful news Trenton, twenty years ago after my own traumatic brain injury I was declared brain dead and I was 36, the prognosis was I would remain in a vegetative state for the rest of my life. I woke up did rehab and have completed college a second time, am a licensed massage therapist and registered certified reflexologist. “I was brought back to give back”

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