Woman Presumed Dead Found Alive at Funeral Home

(StraightNews.org) – Funeral home staff in Nebraska discovered that a 74-year-old woman was still alive after she had been declared dead at a hospice. Emergency services responded to a call from Butherus, Maser, & Love Funeral Home in Lincoln when an apparently dead woman began breathing, prompting staff to perform CPR.

Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ben Houchin said he had never encountered such a situation in his 31 years in law enforcement.

Constance Glantz was declared dead at The Mulberry nursing home in Waverly on the morning of June 3, and her body was transferred to the funeral home the same day. Sheriff’s Deputy Houchin explained that in circumstances where a doctor has certified that a patient’s death is imminent, and death occurs within seven days, there is no requirement for law enforcement to attend and no coroner investigation.

When Ms. Glantz’s seemingly dead body arrived at the funeral home around 2.5 hours after her “death,” staff placed her on a table to commence their routine procedures. One then noticed that she was still breathing and called 911. Lincoln police, fire, and rescue personnel arrived to find Glantz breathing normally. They then rushed her to hospital, where she continued to breathe for a further four hours before finally stopping. Physicians pronounced her dead for the second time, and an autopsy was performed.

Butherus, Maser, & Love Funeral Home issued a statement saying they were proud of their staff for handling the alarming situation “appropriately and with utmost care.”

A phenomenon known as the Lazarus effect occurs when patients declared dead show renewed signs of life, and experts say it is startlingly common. Last year, an Iowa woman was sent to a funeral home, where staff found she was still alive. A nursing home was issued with a $10,000 fine.

In an extraordinary case in Poland in 2014, a 91-year-old woman woke after spending 11 hours in a mortuary storage unit. She returned home and warmed up with soup and pancakes.

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