Michigan funeral home discovers woman declared dead is actually alive


Published by USATODAY.COM

Summary generated on August 24, 2020


    DETROIT - As it turned out, reports of an untimely death were greatly exaggerated.

    A 20-year-old woman, who had been pronounced dead early Sunday in Southfield, Mich., after a heart attack, was taken to a Detroit funeral home, where staff there found she was in fact still very much alive.

    Southfield officials tried to clear up the error later that same evening in an announcement that was sent on behalf of the city's fire chief under an unusual - and understated - subject line: "Mistaken pronouncement of death."

    According to the Southfield Fire Department, which would not release victim's name, paramedics responded to a 911 call: A woman was not breathing.

    After 30 minutes, they concluded she likely was no longer alive.

    The paramedics contacted the nearby Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office, who pronounced her dead. The body was released to her family to make funeral arrangements.

    James H. Cole Funeral Home in Detroit confirmed it picked up the body hours later.

    At the funeral home, employees saw her chest was rising and falling and the woman was still breathing.

    They called EMS, and the woman was taken to the hospital for treatment.

    The funeral home added its "Thoughts and prayers are with this young woman and her family."