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15 Horrifying, True Tales Of People Who Woke Up In A Morgue

Discussion in 'Forensic Medicine' started by Ghada Ali youssef, Feb 17, 2017.

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  1. Ghada Ali youssef

    Ghada Ali youssef Golden Member

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    Waking up in a morgue - it sounds like something straight out of a horror move, doesn't it? Strangely even in this day and age, it's more common than you might think. Why does this happen? How can doctors not realize a "dead" body is actually a living person?

    Doctors are people, and they aren’t perfect. When doctors think someone has died, they check the patient’s pupils, breathing, heartbeat, and pulse. Sometimes patients may have signs of life that are just too faint to be detected. Another explanation is Lazarus Syndrome - when a person who can’t be brought back to life suddenly regains circulation. No one knows why – or how - this rare situation occurs.

    Hospitals and morgues are creepy places where strange and unexplained things sometimes happen. Patients coming back from the dead is definitely one of the strangest.

    For the people who were declared dead - and then not - the experience can be confusing and frightening. Morgues aren’t meant for living people. People experiencing this real-life nightmare often wake up surrounded by corpses or locked in their own tiny metal drawer. They may feel as if they’ve been buried alive.

    The feeling is similar to someone who is conscious during surgery. You’re lying there helpless at the mercy of medical staff, hoping they’ll realize what’s going on and save you.

    The unbelievable stories of real people who woke up in the morgue are sure to leave you hoping it never happens to you.

    A Grandmother Came Back To Life Twice

    In 2011 retired cook and grandmother Lyudmila Steblitskaya was hospitalized for health problems. When her daughter called to check on her, the hospital said her mother had died. It was a Friday night. Steblitskaya was taken to the morgue, where she was to remain until the funeral Monday morning.

    When her daughter came to get her body on Monday, doctors said her mother was alive, and brought her to Steblitskaya’s hospital room. Steblitskaya had survived the whole weekend under morgue refrigeration.

    “I have a vague recollection of real cold,” Steblitskaya said. Her skin was peeled from her body because of the frigid temperatures. Her daughter and other family members, who had spent the weekend planning for her funeral, were ecstatic to have her back. “It’s a miracle I’m still here,” Steblitskaya said.

    In October 2012, she apparently died again during another hospital stay. This time, however, doctors were able to bring her back around within a few hours.


    A Baby Came Back To Life After 12 Hours In A Refrigerated Morgue


    In Argentina, a premature infant was declared dead just 20 minutes after her birth. Twelve hours after she was placed in a refrigerated coffin, her parents went to the morgue to hold their child and say their last goodbyes.

    When her mother held her, the baby let out a little cry. Her mother thought it was her imagination, but doctors soon confirmed her baby was actually still alive. The astonished parents called their daughter Luz Milagros, which means “Miracle Light”.

    The baby lived up until a few months after her first birthday, when she died of health complications.

    A Bad Hangover Becomes Even Worse In A Morgue

    In 2016, a 25-year-old Polish man named Kamil was out drinking vodka with friends when he suffered a heart attack. He collapsed outside a pub and was taken to a hospital. Unresponsive, he was pronounced dead.

    Several hours later, a guard heard noises inside the mortuary refrigerator. The guard thought kids had broken in, but was surprised to find Kamil. The naked “dead man” asked the guard for a blanket.

    After getting checked out by doctors, Kamil headed back to the pub.

    A Man Started Moving Around In His Body Bag

    Think being mistaken for dead can’t happen in the United States? Think again. In 2014, Walter Williams, a farmer from Holmes County, MS, was pronounced dead. The next day, morgue workers saw his body bag moving - Williams was kicking it from the inside.

    The 76-year-old man was taken to a hospital and released to his shocked family a few days later. He lived two more weeks before actually dying of natural causes.

    One possible theory for the incident is that William’s defibrillator restarted his heart while he was in the body bag.

    Dead Russian Man Shocks Friends By Coming Back To Party

    In 2015, an unidentified Russian man got so drunk he passed out - and everyone thought he was dead. His friends called an ambulance. First responders also thought he was dead, and took him to the morgue where he was placed in the freezer.

    The man woke up in the middle of the night, shocked to be in a room with dead bodies. He started pounding on the doors and got the attention of a guard.

    After doctors checked him over, his first stop was back to his friend’s house. There, his buddies were still drinking and mourning him. One of his friends was so shocked at seeing him that he fainted. The mourning party quickly turned into a celebration.

    Daughter Tasked With Identifying Her Mother's Dead Body Discovers She's Actually Alive

    In 2011, Rosa Celestrino de Assis was taken to the hospital for pneumonia. The 60-year-old Brazilian woman had no vital signs, so the doctor pronounced her dead.

    Medical personnel put her body into a plastic body bag and took it to the morgue refrigerator. Two hours later, her daughter came to identify the body. As she was giving her mother a hug for what she thought was the last time, she realized her mother was breathing.

    "I screamed out - my mom is alive!” her daugher said. “And they all looked at me like I was crazy."

    The doctor that pronounced her dead has resigned, and a nurse working under him was fired.

    Woman With Cataplexy Woke Up In A Morgue Three Times

    June Burchell should be quite familiar with the inside of a morgue - she’s woken up there three times. Burchell suffers from a condition called cataplexy, which affects a small percentage of people with narcolepsy. This condition causes her to become paralyzed but conscious. Strong emotions often bring on episodes.

    The first time this happened to her she was a teenager. She didn’t appear to show any signs of life, and doctors pronounced her dead. They put her in the morgue, surrounding her with dead bodies. She could move and speak again hours later.

    Burchell said she fears being buried alive more than she fears death. She has one of the world’s worst cases of cataplexy. Burchell shared her story with the television series My Shocking Story.

    Man Woke Up During His Own Autopsy

    In 2007, Carlos Camejo was in a severe car accident. The 33-year-old Venezuelan man was declared dead at the scene, and then taken to the morgue. He didn’t wake up until a medical examiner started his autopsy by cutting into his face. “I woke up because the pain was unbearable,” Camejo said.

    His wife came to identify his body and was shocked to find he was still alive. Camejo still bears the scar from his own autopsy.


    91-year-old Woman Spent 11 Hours In Cold Storage


    A Polish woman named Janina Kolkiewicz was declared dead after she was found unresponsive in her home. She was taken to the morgue and family members started planning her funeral.

    Eleven hours later, a morgue worker was bringing in another body when he saw her body bag start to move. Kolkiewicz was inside, cold, but unharmed. The elderly woman, apparently unfazed, asked him for some hot tea.

    “I was sure she was dead,” said the doctor who’d examined her. “I’m stunned.”

    A Morgue Worker Discovered A Baby Preparing For Cremation Was Actually Alive

    In China, a father named Jin Hua Lu took his premature newborn baby to the hospital. The baby showed signs of discoloration. Doctors told the father his son’s heart had stopped, and declared the baby dead.

    Fifteen hours later, morgue staff were preparing to cremate the child. They took him out of refrigeration only to find he was crying and moving. “I thought I heard noises,” a morgue worker said. “I opened the container and saw him moving.”

    The boy likely only survived the cold because his father had wrapped him in several blankets.

    Man Scratched At The Morgue Door To Alert Workers He Was Alive

    Apparently, 2014 wasn’t Paul Mutora’s time to go. The 24-year-old Kenyan man tried to kill himself by ingesting insecticide in 2014. He was taken to the hospital and given anti-poison drugs. Doctors determined that Mutora did not survive, and took him to the morgue.

    He was supposed to be embalmed. But morgue workers heard scratching noises coming from the room where his body was kept and decided to investigate. When they found that Mutora was alive, they took to their heels screaming,” a witness said.

    Mutora said trying to take his life was a mistake, and apologized to his father. Doctors said the anti-poison drugs may have made is seem like he was dead.

    Woman Was Alive In The Morgue, Only To Die From Freezing To Death

    An 80-year-old woman named Maria de Jesus Arroyo was brought to the hospital after suffering a heart attack in 2010. Doctors couldn’t help the California resident, and they declared her dead. They put her in a body bag and into one of the morgue’s freezer compartments.

    When workers came to get her body to take to the funeral home, they saw that she was face down and the body bag was half open. Her nose was broken and her face was covered in cuts. A doctor later said there was no way she could have gotten the injuries she suffered if she had been dead. Most likely, she woke up, tried to get out or get someone’s attention and, failing that, died of hypothermia.

    Her family is suing the hospital.

    Morgue Workers Thought He Was a Ghost

    A 50-year-old man from South Africa suffered an asthma attack. He was unresponsive and his family thought he was dead, so they called a private mortuary. The man, whose identity has been protected, spent 21 hours in the morgue before waking up.

    The man “screamed for help and made an almighty din,” a spokesman from the health department said. Morgue workers heard him and ran into the street, thinking he was a ghost and that the building was haunted. They were shocked to find the man alive.

    He suffered hypothermia from his time in the deep freeze and had to be admitted to the hospital. Otherwise, he was okay and got to go home the next day. The health department representative urged families to call police if they think a relative has passed on, which is apparently not standard procedure for South Africans.

    A Woman Was Locked In A Morgue After Giving Birth By Caesarian Section

    At a hospital in Kuwait, an unnamed Saudi woman had a routine Caesarian section. Doctors mistakenly thought she had died, and called her husband on his way to the hospital to tell him the news.

    The woman was sent to the morgue where she awoke surrounded by dead bodies. She said she could have “perished alive of horror” at finding herself in such a place. The woman screamed, and a morgue worker finally heard her and let her out.

    The family filed a lawsuit against the hospital.

    Woman Comes Back From the Dead, Only to Die Two Days Later

    A German woman who lived in a nursing home was found not breathing and without a pulse. The 92-year-old was declared dead and taken to a refrigerated room at a funeral home. Several hours later, funeral home workers heard screaming and found out she was alive.

    She really died of heart disease two days after her miraculous resurrection. Her real death had nothing to do with her time spent in refrigeration. The doctor who declared her dead will have to go to prison if convicted of negligent bodily harm.

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