In a shocking incident in São José, Brazil, a crematorium worker discovered that a 90-year-old woman, previously declared dead by hospital staff, was still alive. The woman, Norma Silveira da Silva, had been admitted to the São José Regional Hospital in a critical condition and was pronounced dead a few hours later. The hospital staff had placed her in a body bag and sent her to the morgue, where the crematorium worker made the startling discovery.
Da Silva was immediately returned to a hospital room, but unfortunately, she was confirmed dead on Monday morning. Jessica Martins Silvi Pereira, a close friend and caretaker of da Silva, revealed to a local news outlet that da Silva had been admitted to the hospital in a severe state, unconscious and suffering from a liver ailment.
Pereira visited da Silva on Saturday afternoon, during which time da Silva was able to open one eye and acknowledge her presence. Later that evening, Pereira and da Silva’s son were informed of her supposed demise. The initial death certificate, issued at 11:40 p.m., stated that da Silva had died from a urinary tract infection.
Pereira expressed her dismay at the haste with which da Silva’s body was sent to the morgue, denying her loved ones the opportunity to say their goodbyes. The crematorium worker who arrived to collect da Silva’s body around 1:30 a.m. noticed that her body was still warm and lacked signs of rigor mortis, which was unexpected considering the time that had passed.
Upon opening the body bag, the worker found da Silva breathing weakly. Pereira recounted that her friend had spent nearly two hours in the sealed bag, almost suffocating. It remains unclear whether da Silva’s death was due to the delay in medical treatment or her underlying health condition.
Following her second declaration of death, da Silva’s cause of death was listed as septic shock. Pereira stated that da Silva’s family intends to take legal action against the hospital for negligence. The state Department of Health has initiated an investigation into the incident.