A 54-year-old Brazilian man who hospital officials deemed dead was discovered alive by relatives after spending two hours in a body bag.
Doctors thought that Valdelucio Goncalves was dead due to “respiratory and multiple organ failure” at the Menandro de Farias General Hospital in Salvador, according to the Daily Mail.
But after doctors brought him to their morgue, his brother Walterio Goncalves found him moving in his body bag.
Walterio Goncalves said he went to the morgue to dress his brother’s body for a funeral the family had planned.
“We'd paid for his death notice in a newspaper, bought the coffin and booked his funeral,” said Patricia Cintra, Valdelucio Goncalves’s niece. “His feet had already been tied together and his nose and ears stuffed with cotton wool.”
With all the arrangements for the funeral already made, the brother thought his task would be straightforward.
“All I needed to do was put some new clothes on him, so he'd be ready for the undertaker to come and collect him,” Walterio Goncalves said.
But Goncalves started to notice his brother moving inside the bag and was shocked to discover that doctors had wrongly proclaimed him dead.
“As I got closer I could see (the body bag) wriggling. Then I saw it rising and falling as if he was breathing,” he said. “I went crazy and shouted for the medical team, the nurse, so they could see what was happening. They checked him and confirmed that he was still alive.”
Goncalves was transferred to another hospital in Salvador after the incident, and the health department is investigating the case.
Goncalves has written a letter about his experience. He said he thinks he was saved by the Franciscan sister Blessed Irma Dulce.
“I, Valdelucio, saw death at my feet, but my faith was so great that I was cured,” he wrote. “Before Irma Dulce I said, do a miracle in me, and she heard my prayer. I saw my mother telling me, son, hold onto her and you will be saved.”
Source: Daily Mail, Image Credit: Matt Roper, Google Maps