New Press Release: Actress Anne Heche dies of an Anoxic Brain Injury

Brain Injury Association of Virginia Press Release

RICHMOND, Va. – Aug. 19, 2022 – PRLog — On August 5th, news broke that actress Anne Heche was on life support following a car accident. Just a few days later, Heche’s family shared that she was not expected to live after sustaining a severe brain injury and they had made the difficult decision to take her off life support.

The type of she sustained is known as an anoxic brain injury; it’s caused by a lack of oxygen flowing to the brain, which is vital for brain function. Stroke, drowning, choking, or cardiac arrest are just some of the causes of an anoxic brain injury. Due to the fire caused by the accident, it’s believed smoke inhalation is what ultimately contributed to Heche’s death.

Anne McDonnell, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia said, “This story has been absolutely devastating to follow. However, it serves as an important reminder that hitting your head is not the only way to sustain a brain injury. If you have experienced any lack of oxygen due to something like strangulation or a heart attack, and you notice subtle differences in things like your memory, it’s really important to have a check-in with a certified medical professional immediately.”

The Brain Injury Association of Virginia (BIAV) educates the public about brain injuries and provides support to the brain injury community. Through one on one consultations with brain injury experts, and our resource library, directory of services, online and virtual support groups, and more, we provide personalized and timely assistance to address any questions regarding brain injuries.

The Brain Injury Association of Virginia sends our condolences to Anne’s family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.


About The Brain Injury Association of Virginia: The Brain Injury Association of Virginia is the primary source of information and personal support for thousands of individuals, families, and professionals living in Virginia whose lives have been touched by a life‐altering, often devastating brain injury. The mission of the Association is to advance education, awareness, support, treatment and research to improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. For more information visit

Anne McDonnell, Executive Director