Anne Heche remains on life support to see if she is a potential match for organ donation, her representative has confirmed.
The American actress has been classified as “legally dead under California law” after suffering a “severe anoxic brain injury” in a car accident last Friday.
The 53-year-old was taken to hospital after the accident in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles.
A representative for the actress told the PA news agency: “While Anne is legally dead under California law, her heart is still beating and she has not been taken off life support so One Legacy (a national organ recovery organization) can see if she is a match for organ donation.”
Following the update on her medical status, a statement on behalf of Heche’s family and friends said: “Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother and a loyal friend.
“Anne will be deeply missed, but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic work and her passionate advocacy.
“Her bravery to always stand in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”
Her family had previously said it had long been her choice to donate her organs.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) previously confirmed to the PA that the accident was being investigated as a felony driving-under-the-influence (DUI) traffic collision.
An LAPD spokesman said preliminary blood tests had revealed the presence of drugs in Heche’s system, but added that further testing was needed to rule out drugs administered at the hospital.
On Friday, a statement shared with the PA on behalf of her family said the actress was “not expected to survive” the incident.
“We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses who cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital,” the statement said.
“Unfortunately, as a result of her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive, it says.
Heche is the former partner of US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres – the pair began dating in 1997 before splitting in 2000 – and is known for films including Donnie Brasco, Cedar Rapids and the 1998 Psycho remake.
Photos and video footage obtained by the American media TMZ after the incident showed Heche driving a blue Mini Cooper, which was later pictured seriously damaged at the scene.
The vehicle struck a two-story home and “burst into heavy fire,” according to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
It took 59 firefighters 65 minutes to access, contain and extinguish the flames in the heavily damaged structure, according to an LAFD report.
Heche suffered a “significant lung injury requiring mechanical ventilation” and “burns requiring surgical intervention,” a spokeswoman for the actress previously confirmed to the PA.