Woman Wakes Up in Morgue After 11 Hours

Janina Kolkiewicz then warms up with a bowl of soup
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2014 3:37 PM CST
Woman Wakes Up in Morgue After 11 Hours

Another in the grand tradition of people waking up from the not-so-dead: A 91-year-old woman in Poland startled morgue workers by moving around after what the BBC reports was 11 hours in "cold storage." A doctor had declared Janina Kolkiewicz dead after the woman's niece noticed that she didn't seem to be breathing. The doctor says he could detect no heartbeart, and off she went to the mortuary. Upon waking, Kolkiewicz reportedly complained only about feeling cold and dug into a bowl of soup at home.

"I was sure she was dead," the doctor is quoted as telling a local TV station. Bizarre, yes, but explainable, a mortuary technician tells the Guardian. His best guess is that Kolkiewicz had a weak pulse and may have been unconscious when first examined. For a variety of medical reasons, people can be mistaken for dead, he writes. "It does happen," and it speaks to the larger debate in the medical community about what constitutes death, he adds. Think of it as more of a "process" and "less as a single event." He cites the examples of cases from Mississippi and Kenya earlier this year, though he doesn't mention this case, this case, this case, or this case. (More Poland stories.)

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