The body works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, for example, it can spontaneously spring back to life after being pronounced dead. This incredible phenomenon is known as Lazarus syndrome, and it’s something that most of these 19 people – all of whom seemed to die before miraculously waking up – have experienced.
19. Walter Williams
In February 2014 78-year-old Walter Williams was discovered by his family with no pulse and was later declared dead. The following day, however, the elderly man started kicking while inside a body bag. Therefore, the funeral home workers who were preparing to embalm him called Williams’ family, and then the not-at-all-dead man was taken to hospital. Apparently, Williams’ pacemaker, which had stopped working, had sprung back into action.
18. Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov
When Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov of Kazan, Russia, died in 2011, her body was placed inside an open casket. As the 49-year-old’s family members paid their respects, however, they got the shock of their lives when their deceased relative suddenly woke up and started shrieking. Sadly, the shock was even greater for Mukhametzyanov, whose surprise at being resurrected – albeit for just 12 minutes – triggered a fatal heart attack.
17. Galiba Hayat
In 2016 Galiba Hayat was born in Bangladesh four months prematurely and weighing just 16 ounces. However, it wasn’t long before a doctor in Faridpur pronounced her dead. But as the baby girl was about to be buried, she suddenly started crying. Hayat was later transferred to a hospital in Dhaka, where she sadly passed away aged 23 weeks after succumbing to internal bleeding.
16. Paul Mutora
In 2014 Paul Mutora tried to take his own life by ingesting insecticide, and doctors in Kenya believed he had succeeded. After he was pronounced dead, Mutora’s body was taken to a morgue. Here, not long afterward, two workers fled screaming upon seeing the body moving. The young man, who was later photographed sitting up in his hospital bed, described the suicide attempt as “a mistake.”
15. Janina Kolkiewicz
Janina Kolkiewicz was 91 when she quietly slipped away. Her family doctor was called by the Polish woman’s niece, who noticed that her aunt was no longer breathing. The doctor subsequently issued a death certificate, and the elderly woman’s body was moved to a morgue. After 11 hours in refrigerated conditions, however, Kolkiewicz began moving. She was then removed and taken home, where she warmed up with a bowl of soup.
14. Li Xiufeng
Nothing, not even death, it seemed, could keep Li Xiufeng down. In fact, in 2012 the 95-year-old was believed to have died after she fell over and failed to wake up. Therefore, her body was laid in an open casket, according to Chinese tradition. But two days later, the day before her funeral, the body went missing. The elderly woman was then found inside her kitchen at home, where she was preparing a much-needed meal.
13. Michael Wilkinson
In February 2009 23-year-old Michael Wilkinson, who had an undetected heart condition, collapsed and died in Preston, England. Half an hour after receiving the last rites, however, the young man’s pulse came back. He wasn’t, it turned out, actually dead. Wilkinson stayed alive for two days until, sadly, he died for a second and final time.
12. Unnamed Indian man
In 2015 this unnamed Indian man was taken to Mumbai’s Sion Hospital after he was discovered unconscious beside a bus stop. Then, when doctors couldn’t locate a pulse, the 40-something patient was declared dead and transported to the morgue. By the time of the postmortem, however, a shocked hospital employee noticed that the man was breathing, so the man was taken to the intensive-care unit to recover.
11. Lyudmila Steblitskaya
Lyudmila Steblitskaya hasn’t been declared dead once, but twice. The first time, in November 2011, saw the Russian grandmother, who supposedly died after feeling unwell, spend three days in a morgue – during which time her grave was dug and preparations for her funeral were made. But, amazingly, 61-year-old Steblitskaya later woke up and started calling for her daughter, Anastasia, much to the amazement of doctors.
10. An An
An An, a newborn Chinese baby, was declared dead in early 2016 after being delivered prematurely. But after spending the night in a morgue, where temperatures were kept at a freezing 10ºF, the tiny little boy started to cry. Pediatrician Dr. Chen Shuanghua was later reported by the Epoch Times as saying that he couldn’t “understand how this miracle happened.”
9. Three-year-old Filipino girl
In 2014 this apparently dead three-year-old Filipino girl – who was lying in her coffin moments before her funeral – suddenly woke up and started breathing. Doctors had previously pronounced her dead after she had seemingly succumbed to a days-long fever, but she hadn’t actually died at all. After being given a glass of water, the little girl went back home with her mom and dad via the hospital.
8. Hamdi Hafez al-Nubi
He was just 28 when he suffered a heart attack while at work and seemed to have died, but Hamdi Hafez al-Nubi was actually still in the land of the living. Fortunately, a doctor noticed, before the Egyptian waiter’s funeral in 2012, that he was warm and had started breathing. Afterward, it was simply a case of reviving him. Al-Nubi’s funeral went ahead as planned anyway, but rather than mourn his death, it celebrated his apparent resurrection.
7. Luz Milagros
When Luz Milagros was born three months prematurely in 2012, she showed no signs of life. Neonatal doctors, therefore, felt that they had no choice but to place her tiny body in the Perrando Hospital morgue in Chaco, northeast Argentina. Some 12 hours later, however, little Luz started crying. It seemed that despite being kept in refrigerated conditions, she was very much alive. Sadly, the baby died the following year after battling health problems.
6. Maria de Jesus Arroyo
In July 2010 Maria de Jesus Arroyo suffered an apparently fatal heart attack in Los Angeles. After being declared dead, the 80-year-old was placed in a freezer at White Memorial Hospital’s morgue, where it appears she subsequently woke up. Tragically, no one noticed. In fact, she tried to escape and broke her nose in the process. She ultimately succumbed to the hostile conditions and died.
5. Val Thomas
Val Thomas was effectively brain dead, with no pulse, for 17 hours after she had suffered two heart attacks in 2008 – long enough for doctors to notice the first signs of rigor mortis. But ten minutes after the 59-year-old West Virginian’s breathing tubes were removed, she suddenly woke up and started talking to the nurse beside her bed.
4. Zack Clements
He was like any other fit-and-healthy 17-year-old, but one day in 2015 Zack Clements suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during a Phys. Ed. lesson at school. The young Texan was declared dead, and, over the next 20 minutes, there was nothing to suggest that he was anything but. Amazingly, though, doctors managed to revive him. Clements woke up a few days later, and he attributed this miracle to divine intervention.
3. Tony Yahle
One day in 2013 Tony Yahle arrived at Kettering Medical Center, Ohio, after his wife Melissa was unable to wake him. The unconscious patient’s condition initially remained stable, but when the 37-year-old’s heart stopped and doctors failed to revive him, he was pronounced dead. Soon afterward, however, Yahle’s heart showed signs of electrical activity, which encouraged medics to try to revive him again. This time, they were successful.
2. Ann Saville
In 2014 71-year-old Ann Saville, a leukemia patient, was pronounced dead by three doctors at a hospital in Leeds, England. But when her partner John Harrison arrived for a final goodbye, he was shocked to discover that Saville was breathing. Despite the failure of resuscitation attempts, it seemed that the patient had at some point started breathing independently. Saville lived for another four months.
1. Jamie Ogg
In 2010 Kate Ogg gave birth to twins in Queensland, Australia. But her joy was tempered with sadness because doctors told the new mom and her partner David that one of the babies had stopped breathing. The distraught first-time parents asked to hold their lifeless little boy, who had been born at 26 weeks – and it was then that he miraculously started moving. Today, Jamie Ogg is happy and healthy.