The family of Pelle Lindbergh donated his organs for...


STRATFORD, N.J. -- The family of Pelle Lindbergh donated his organs for transplant before the pro hockey goalie was removed from life-support systems that kept him alive since a weekend car crash.

The 26-year-old Philadelphia Flyers goaltender was disconnected from a respirator and pronounced dead late Tuesday after doctors removed his vital organs, a team spokeswoman said.


Lindbergh had been declared brain dead Sunday, just hours after he drove his custom-modified Porsche into the concrete steps of a school in Somerdale, N.J.

Lindbergh, the National Hockey League's top goaltender and the Flyers' most valuable player last season, was then kept alive by life-support systems while his parents decided whether to donate his vital organs.

Flyers team physician Dr. Edward Viner, speaking for the former Swedish Olympian's family, said the Lindberghs hoped the transplants would mean 'Pelle's ultimate save might be to save some other people. The family wants to try to help others and make whatever little good can come of this tragedy.'

Among the organs that doctors expected to remove for transplants if they were viable were Lindbergh's heart, lungs, kidneys, corneas, liver and pancreas. Howard Nathan, executive director of the Philadelphia area's Delaware Valley Regional Transplant Program, said Lindbergh's family had asked he not disclose which organs were taken or who would receive them.


'The organs will be given to patients with the highest medical priority and who are a medical match,' Nathan said.

Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia said a heart transplant operation took place early Wednesday, but the DVRTP said it received organs from two other families Tuesday night and would not say if Lindbergh's heart had been used. The organization did say it is linked by computer to other regional transplant centers and that the athlete's organs could have been sent out of the area.

'From a purely medical point of view, he's been dead since 5:40 Sunday morning,' said Viner. 'They have accepted the finality of his condition.'

Tests showed Lindbergh was legally drunk at the time of the accident with a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 percent, more than twice the limit for drivers in New Jersey. Two passengers in Lindbergh's car were also injured in the crash.

'The family is very distressed about the issue of alcohol because in Sweden, certainly, that's a very negative thing,' Viner said. 'He wasn't a drinker. I want to emphasize that again and again.'

Relatives made the decision to cut off life support after Lindbergh's father, Sigge Lindbergh, arrived Monday night from Sweden. He joined the former Swedish Olympic star's mother, Anna Lisa, and fiancee, Kerstin Pietzch, by his bedside.


The parents, looking haggard, returned to the Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Stratford Division, on Tuesday morning to reaffirm their decision.

'The family wants to try to help others and make whatever little good can come of this tragedy,' Viner said.

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