Dr. Kurtz initially believed Lee was brain dead as there was little or no activity on his EEG. Lee was still breathing on his own, so Dr. Kurtz notified the team for organ transplants. Lee overheard this but realized he couldn't move. At that point, Gregory House, who was also in the emergency room after a motorcycle crash, was monitoring Lee's EEG and thought he saw brain activity. He brought this to the attention of Dr. Kurtz, who wrote it off as random fluctuations. However, House was soon able to show Lee could respond to questions by blinking.
Dr. Kurtz told Lee his prognosis was poor. There was little hope he could recover movement and he should consider rehabilitation rather than treatment. However, House was more optimistic and ran tests using Kurtz's authorization. Kurtz initially thought Lee was suffering from a viral infection, but House thought it was more likely to be a brain tumor. He also treated Lee behind Kurtz's back. Lee finally lost confidence in Kurtz and asked his wife Molly to authorize his transfer.