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‘Dead’ woman found alive in hospital morgue by crematorium worker

A family has been left fuming after a 90-year-old grandmother was declared dead by doctors and was placed in the hospital morgue only for a shocked crematorium worker to discover she was still alive.

Norma Silveira da Silva, 90, was pronounced dead on Saturday, November 25, at about 11.40pm local time at Sao Jose Regional Hospital in Brazil.

But the employee who was about to send her body away discovered she was breathing and her body was still warm hours after her supposed death.

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After he noticed Norma was still alive, he returned her to a hospital bed.

But despite being taken back to the ward, Norma passed away just over a day later, in the early hours of November 27. She was cremated that day.

As a result of the gaffe, Norma was issued with two death certificates. The initial one, published erroneously, said she had died of an infection.

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Hospital officials, Brazil’s Medical Ethics Committee and the Death Commission are now investigating how the woman was sent to the morgue despite being alive, local media reported.

Norma’s friend Jessica Martins Silvi Pereira, who travelled with her to the hospital, said the bereaved family now has plans to sue the hospital. “It’s a case of neglect that I would not wish on anyone,” she said.

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Describing the moment Norma was found in the body bag, she said: “When he opened the bag she was breathing very weakly. And, as she was no longer conscious, she couldn’t ask for help, she tried to breathe and couldn’t. I mean, from 11:40 pm until 1:30 am she was inside the bag almost dying asphyxiated.”

According to Jessica, Norma’s family have not yet been given a cause of death.

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