Talk about a close call!
According to reports, a 20-year-old woman who had been declared dead by officials was discovered to be alive and breathing over the weekend after being brought to a funeral home.
The Southfield Fire Department said the unnamed woman was found unresponsive and not breathing at a home in Southfield, Michigan early Saturday. Paramedics arrived at the scene and performed CPR on her and tried other “life-reviving methods” for half an hour before medical readings determined “at that time that she did not have signs of life.”
Bill Mullan, a spokesperson for the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office, told People that the woman was declared dead based on real-time medical data like heartbeat and breathing by an emergency room doctor at a local hospital via phone. He explained that sending this medical data is standard operating procedure.
The rep went on to explain that the fire department contacted the medical examiner’s office once the woman was declared dead. The forensic pathologist on duty determined that, based on what the emergency room physician said and the woman’s medical history, her body did not need further forensic examination and should be released to her family.
So, the “corpse” was sent to James H. Cole Home for Funerals in Detroit — where staff members eventually made the discovery that the woman was still breathing. The funeral home explained in a statement:
“After receiving clearance from the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office she was transported to our funeral home. Upon her arrival at the funeral home, our staff confirmed she was breathing and called EMS.”
Outlets report she was then transported to the hospital, and her condition is still unknown.
Naturally, the 20-year-old’s mother was extremely distraught to learn her daughter was declared dead. She told Local 4 Defenders on Monday:
“I’m devastated that my daughter is going through what she’s going through. My family, her twin brother, her older brother — it’s just, I don’t even have words. I haven’t slept all night. I just don’t know what to do. My heart is so heavy.”
Yikes… we can only imagine!
She recalled being told on Sunday morning by Southfield paramedics that her daughter had died:
“They said, ‘Ma’am, she’s gone.’ I told them, ‘Are you absolutely, 100% sure that she’s gone?’ They said, ‘Yes, ma’am, she’s gone.’”
But her phone rang hours later, and she was floored to learn that her daughter was, in fact, still alive. She remembered:
“They said, ‘Ma’am, your daughter is on her way to Sinai Grace Hospital. She is breathing. She is alive.’ This devastated my life. Then she just told me, ‘No, ma’am, your daughter is breathing.’ I said, ‘What do you mean? What do you mean she’s breathing?’ She said, ‘Ma’am, she’s in the hospital.‘”
Our hearts go out to the woman’s family as they wait for answers.
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