Emmy winner Anne Heche has passed away, it was learned. She is 53 years old.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and happy soul, a loving mother and a faithful friend,” the star’s rep told PEOPLE in a statement on behalf of Heche’s family and friends.
“Annie will be dearly missed, but she lives on through her beautiful son, iconic work and passionate advocacy. Her courage to always stand for her truth and spread her message of love and acceptance will continue to produce lasting influences.”
Family representatives confirmed to PEOPLE that although Heche is legally dead under California law, her heart is still beating and she has not been taken off life support to allow the OneLegacy Foundation enough time to find a suitable recipient. The older of Heche’s two sons, Homer, 20, also expressed his grief in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.
“My brother Atlas and I lost our mother,” he said. “After six days of almost unbelievable mood swings, I’m left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hope my mom is free from pain and start exploring the eternal freedom I love to imagine her.” He went on to admit that he and his family have received outpourings of love from all over the world.
“Over these six days, thousands of friends, family members and fans gave me their hearts,” he said. “I’m grateful for her love, and the support of my dad Coley and stepmother Alexi who have continued to be my rock during this time. Rest in peace mom, I love you.”
The news comes a week after she crashed her car into a house in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood, destroying it and leaving the actress in a critical condition.
She never regained consciousness.
On Thursday, her spokesman said the outlook was bleak. “Unfortunately, as a result of her accident, Anne suffered severe hypoxic brain damage and was in a coma,” the representative told PEOPLE in a statement on behalf of the Heche family. “She is not expected to survive. She has long decided to donate her organs and she is on life support to see if any viable organs are available.”
The statement also thanked Heche for his warm support and care after the devastating August 5 crash.
“We would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery, as well as the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses who cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at Western Hills Hospital,” the statement said.