Man found breathing after two paramedics declared him dead and left the scene

Thomas Maxwell’s family is in a state of shock and outrage after paramedics declared him dead and left, yet he was later found to still be alive with a pulse and breathing.

Phebe Maxwell, his daughter, said that the paramedics had only checked her father’s wrist for a pulse and then declared him dead. She said that despite his lips being blue and him being cold, she and her friend were still performing CPR and he was making noises. She said she told them he was still breathing but they denied it and said, “No ma’am, he’s gone, those are just his body releasing gases.”

However, when a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived to investigate, they found that Maxwell was in fact alive and he was quickly taken to emergency care.

Chief Scott Ehlers of the Clearwater Fire Department issued an apology to the family and said that the two paramedics did not perform to the standard of care that citizens expect and deserve. The two paramedics were placed on administrative duty and were clinically suspended as the investigation continues.

Maxwell said that her father is currently in intensive care and she is worried about the possible long-lasting effects from the delayed response to his cardiac arrest.

This is the third incident of its kind in the last few months, with an Iowa woman being declared dead and sent to a funeral home and crematorium before she was heard gasping for breath from her body bag, and an 82-year-old woman from Long Island, New York being found to be breathing after being pronounced dead and sent to a funeral home.