Dead man wakes up in mortuary

2011-07-24 21:53

Johannesburg - 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 (Eastern Cape) on Sunday afternoon

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 spokesperson 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 17:00 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.

  • zeyad.vangreuning - 2011-07-24 22:04

    Haha poor man, lucky he`s alive

      zaatheist - 2011-07-25 04:10

      He has been transported to the afterlife and it looks just like this one!

      morentebo - 2011-07-25 08:14

      I wonder how he feels now, he's probably saying to his family : I knew it, you wanted me dead

      Diablo7 - 2011-07-25 09:55

      The Awkward moment when your family takes your live sleeping body to the mortuary....

      PunkBuster - 2011-07-25 12:51

      Holy crap, I would have soiled myself if I was on of those employee's. I just hope his family was'nt braaing or having a party when he got home. You would think in today's day and age, these kinds of mistakes would be impossible to make. Thankfully he was'nt buried yet...

      Succubus - 2011-10-07 09:26

      Lucky he woke up 24 hours later, and not say, 3 days later. No one can hear you scream beneath 6 feet of dirt.

      ivory - 2011-10-07 13:26

      How did the mortuary take him in, without checking for a pulse or anything????

  • Brent - 2011-07-24 22:25

    Stupid headline, He wasnt dead to begin with. Some people should learn how to check a pulse.

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-24 22:45

    Oh my word!!! So just how many get buried still alive?? Would hate to have been the morgue worker there when that happened, I would have been put on that slab!! Scary!

  • Barney Stinson - 2011-07-24 23:24

    Best headline ever ammirite!?!

      PunkBuster - 2011-07-25 12:48

      Suit up Barney...

  • White Wolf - 2011-07-25 01:36

    "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." LOL! Where is the security footage!? :D

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-25 04:59

    White Wolf, yes, I would love to see that footage..LOL! But hell, I too would have hot footed it out of there, like a bat out of hell!! Hee, hee!!!

  • pitbull - 2011-07-25 06:33

    I had an uncle who would go on a bender in a hotel in Roodepoort and miss the last train home, so he had to walk home to Florida. Halfway along his route home was the Discoverers hospital morgue. He would climb in a window and take a nap then wake up and carry on home. One night two nurses had to deliver a corpse to the morgue and uncle sat up and scared the daylights out of them.

  • Edgar - 2011-07-25 07:27

    He was very lucky. He is having a full story to share his hole life!!!

  • Mattewis - 2011-07-25 07:32

    It doesn't surprise me in the least that they can't check for a pulse. He can be glad they didn't start an autopsy! Not surprised in the least by the reaction of the morgue attendants. They're probably still running!

  • virginiagreenwoodwarner - 2011-07-25 07:35

    Haha Agree with Zaatheist. Probably one of those ""miracles""

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-07-25 07:46

    beats waking up next to the mrs. sorry, had to haha

  • Rakgadi - 2011-07-25 07:56

    " Dead man walking" From what I have seen the paste years, some morgue's do not pay their electricity bills, wondering how he survived it it was really sub zero in the morgue

  • onthefence - 2011-07-25 08:07

    He is in the afterlife - Transkei is hell is it not?

      TerraFic - 2011-07-25 09:55

      He thought his wife gave him the cold shoulder...

  • Hugh - 2011-07-25 08:11

    This was quite a common occurance at one time. Older coffins are found with scatch marks on the interior when opened. Among other thing the reason why we wait three days for burial.

  • Palesa Masoeu - 2011-07-25 08:22

    Another reason why I would never work at a morgue

  • NEWS24SUX - 2011-07-25 08:26

    sOUNDS Like that story from the bible !

  • lollie sue - 2011-07-25 08:26

    Things do happen, so the family declared him dead and did not bother to take the poor man to the hospital, instead they called the undertakers, maybe they wanted him dead. scary.

      Ke maketse - 2011-07-25 11:18

      Yeah. Maybe his death benefits are good or he is a menace and they jumped at the chance to get rid of him

  • 4nic8 - 2011-07-25 08:27!!!!

  • Valkyrie - 2011-07-25 08:40

    Maybe I read too many detective novels but surely the undertaker is knowledgeable enough to check a pulse when collecting a body? Strangely enough, this situation happens often where people lose consciousness and are presumed dead, so one would think that it is standard practice to therefore ensure that the dead person is actually dead! And should it be that undertakers don't know where to check for a pulse, one can simply put a small mirror in front of the "dead persons" mouth and if they are still breathing, however faintly, it will cause some mist on the mirror. Try this before subjecting some poor live guy to the freezer for 24 hours!

  • horsehair - 2011-07-25 08:42

    1600's alive and well in SA

  • Nedkelly - 2011-07-25 08:42

    What kind of doctors or coroners do we have that cannot even determine properly if somebody is dead or not - jeez this place is pathetic!

  • jolenevanniekerk - 2011-07-25 08:54

    "The man, whose name has been withheld, lost consciousness while asleep" I'm sorry, but aren't you unconscious when you are asleep???

      Janine - 2011-07-25 08:59

      Nope - being unconscious is quite different to being asleep.

  • Queteepie - 2011-07-25 08:58

    Oh my soul - i would have screamed my flaming head off!!!!!! A bloody nightmare ;-(

  • Lab-Rat - 2011-07-25 09:03

    Maybe he didn't have an anc card and was turned down at the peraly gates.

  • Jezabbela - 2011-07-25 09:04

    Shouldn't undertakers also check for a pulse or something like that?

  • shozi - 2011-07-25 09:04

    hahahaha yoh that scarry...

  • DW - 2011-07-25 09:11

    The mortuary should not accept a body without a doctor declaring the person dead bmo a death certificate

  • Michael - 2011-07-25 09:15

    news24 you started sounding like Daily Sun or Bona magazine...

  • Michael - 2011-07-25 09:16

    Oh, resurrection!!!

  • Geraldo Mc phu - 2011-07-25 09:17

    I just think the family just couldn't wait to claim insurance money...

      lollie sue - 2011-07-25 09:31

      thought so too

  • Skeletor1 - 2011-07-25 09:20

    The family was already thinking of how they are going to spend his pension.......damn are thye going to be angry.

  • Lionel - 2011-07-25 09:22

    The man is lucky that the mortuary workers had not as yet glued his teeth together to keep his jaw closed and plugged every hole in his body full of cotton wool to prevent leakages.

  • AlphaOne - 2011-07-25 09:33

    They now have to cancel the insurance claim and the party.

  • Brillianto - 2011-07-25 09:37

    Lmfao....He was so lucky they did not kill him when he woke, that is what they normally do because if some one wakes up, they loose money!!!

  • 50something - 2011-07-25 10:10


  • WaxinLyrical - 2011-07-25 10:18

    he belongs to a family of el retardo's! Poor guy

  • TRiP - 2011-07-25 10:33

    This is so stupid, just goes to show how competent the staff are, obviously cdr buddy deployment. Two tests can be carried out, one of them can be done by anyone - simply by using a pen-like object by pressing it hard against the foot and making a upward movement from the heel to the toes. The other test is done by doctors by simply filling a largish syringe with ice cold water and with extreme force squirt into the ear, this will produce a reaction on anybody that is not dead, even if severely comatose.

  • jmutsila - 2011-07-25 15:37

    who eva was near that morgue wen the dude woke up is surely traumatised

  • vwienand - 2011-07-25 21:12

    river church in east London prayed for the dead man and said a man will be raised from the dead, you may listen CTV It is on now!

      Gavin - 2011-07-26 21:28

      Only in Africa will a man, alive and well be admitted to a Mortuary !!! Any basic checks for a sign of life ? of course not !! Please may Julias Malema be next, and lock the fridge doors and throw away the keys !!

  • Ndumiso - 2011-08-02 13:39

    I dnt wnt 2 be dat man i can imagin wakin up inside a fridge

  • litchi - 2011-10-07 09:38

    SURELY you can tell if someone is still breathing or not, but to ASSUME someone is dead without first making sure by testing the pulse etc, is just damn STUPID!

  • Bloubul Jonck - 2011-10-07 09:50


  • steveroodt - 2011-10-07 10:15

    I am sorry but i had to laugh when i read this. But imagine?

  • - 2011-10-07 10:43

    Hell of an undertaker! He could not tell that the man was still alive???

  • Jason - 2012-01-23 10:54

    So did anybody bother checking for a pulse.. wtf??

  • sbonelo.s.ngwenya - 2012-01-23 11:18


  • debbie.van.niekerk - 2012-01-23 11:35

    OMG this is too bloody funny.... love it...

  • Kerry - 2012-01-23 11:54

    ha ha ha ha ha ha this is HILARIOUS!!

  • tony.delucchi - 2012-01-23 11:56

    ...poor fellows must be creepy enough being around dead people!

  • Gert - 2012-03-09 12:10