'Dead' man wakes up in Transkei mortuary

24 July 2011 - 22:21 By Sapa
Ambulance. File photo
Ambulance. File photo
Image: Simon Mathebula

A 50-year-old asthmatic man presumed dead by his family woke up inside the morgue of a private undertaker at Libode in the Transkei region.

The man, whose name has been withheld, lost consciousness while asleep at his home in a nearby village on Saturday evening, said Eastern Cape health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo.

"His family thought he had died," Kupelo told Sapa.

"The family called a private undertaker who took what they thought was a dead body to the morgue, but the man woke up inside the morgue on Sunday at 5pm and screamed, demanding to be taken out of the cold place."

He had been there for nearly 24 hours.

Kupelo said the two mortuary attendants who were on duty at the time ran out of the building thinking the screaming man was a ghost.

They called for help, put on brave faces and went back to find that the man was indeed alive.

"We sent an ambulance to the funeral parlour to take the man to Saint Barnabas Hospital because he had been exposed to extreme cold for nearly 24 hours," Kupelo said.

He warned the public not to assume that a sick person had died and call a mortuary.

"Doctors, emergency workers and the police are the only people who have a right to examine the patients and determine if they are dead or not," said Kupelo.

subscribe