A doctor in Germany has been charged by prosecutors with negligent bodily harm, after a 92-year-old woman he declared dead awaken in a refrigerated room at a funeral home.
Mirror UK reports that the doctor aged 53-year, pronounced the seriously ill woman dead in March,2015 after a care worker found her without a pulse and not breathing at a retirement home.
Her body was reportedly taken to the Munstermann funeral parlour in Berlin where it was placed in a refrigerated room.
Meanwhile, just hours later a worker at the funeral home heard shrieks coming from inside the room.
It was gathered that when the staff went to investigate, they pulled the body out of the refrigerator and found the woman alive.
Local news reports that the stunned employee fainted when he unzipped the mortuary bag and found the woman staring back.
Janina Kolkiewicz, the 92-year old was reported to have been taken back home and warmed up with a bowl of soup and pancakes and said she felt ‘fine’.
However, Kolkiewicz died tragically two days later in hospital from heart disease unrelated to the incident.
The doctor is said to be due in Gelsenkirchen Magistrates’ Court to face charges of negligence.
Birgit Juergens, Essen prosecutor said the 53-year-old, whose name was not released in line with privacy regulations, could face anything from a fine to a prison sentence if convicted.
Last November, a 91-year-old woman woke up inside a cold locker at a funeral home in Poland, just 11 hours after being declared dead.
According to BBC, the 91-year old, was declared dead after an examination by the family doctor.
However, mortuary staff were astonished to notice movement in her body bag while it was in storage.
Doctors say cases of people pronounced dead only to awake in the morgue are new, a term that seem to embody such occurrence is the ‘Lazarus Syndrome’.
The Lazarus syndrome also known as auto-resuscitation after failed cardiopulmonary resuscitation is said to be the spontaneous return of circulation after failed attempts at reviving or resuscitating a person.
Medical literature records that it has occurred at least 38 times since 1982.
The term is derived from an allusion to the story of Lazarus as narrated in the bible.
Occurrences of the syndrome are extremely rare and the causes are not well understood.