Declared deadby three doctors, a man wakes up shortly before his autopsy.

A few years ago, Span­ish prison author­i­ties were rather bewil­dered after a pris­on­er who had been pro­nounced dead by three sep­a­rate doc­tors woke up in the morgue – just hours before his own autop­sy was to begin.

The pris­on­er, Gon­za­lo Mon­toya Jiménez, then 29, was found uncon­scious in his cell dur­ing a morn­ing roll call on Jan­u­ary 7, 2018 and had been trans­ferred to a hos­pi­tal morgue in a body bag when pathol­o­gists heard some­thing strange.

Snor­ing. Com­ing from inside the bag.

Jiménez, who was serv­ing a sen­tence for theft in the max­i­mum secu­ri­ty wing of the Cen­tral Pen­i­ten­tiary in Asturias, north­west­ern Spain, was ini­tial­ly treat­ed by two doc­tors on duty in the prison, after being found sat uncon­scious on a chair in his cell, with no signs of the abuse being evident.

Detect­ing no vital signs, doc­tors pro­nounced him dead and an hour lat­er a med­ical exam­in­er inspect­ed the body, con­firmed ini­tial assess­ments and issued a third death report.

It was­n’t until lat­er at the morgue that the doc­tors real­ized some­thing was seri­ous­ly wrong.

By this point, Jiménez had already spent time in a cold room to help pre­serve his body, and his skin had been scarred with scalpel guide­lines in prepa­ra­tion for his impend­ing autop­sy — at which point the mis­tak­en corpse sud­den­ly stirred. .

“The med­ical exam­in­ers began to hear nois­es com­ing from inside the bag. Mon­toya was not dead. Quite the con­trary,” report­ed El Español at the time.

“The med­ical exam­in­er [pathol­o­gist] opened the bag and found the inmate still alive.”

Jiménez was then trans­ferred under guard in an ambu­lance to anoth­er hos­pi­tal to recov­er from his mys­te­ri­ous episode, and was even­tu­al­ly report­ed to be in sta­ble con­di­tion – but as to how the con­fu­sion could have arisen in the first place, the prison author­i­ties appar­ent­ly had no idea.

“I can­not com­ment on what hap­pened at the Insti­tute of Foren­sic Med­i­cine,” a spokesper­son for the Span­ish prison ser­vice told the media, “but three doc­tors saw clin­i­cal signs of death, so it is not known. still not sure exact­ly why this happened.”

The day before Jiménez was found ‘dead’, he com­plained of feel­ing unwell and, although it was unclear what caused his con­di­tion, offi­cials described his body as show­ing signs cyanosis — a pur­plish dis­col­oration of the skin caused by poor cir­cu­la­tion or lack of oxy­gen — in addi­tion to rig­or mortis.

Hos­pi­tal offi­cials told Span­ish media that the fake fatal­i­ty could be a case of catalep­sy, in which the body goes into a trance or con­vul­sive state, exhibit­ing loss of con­scious­ness and sen­sa­tion, as well as rigid­i­ty. physical.

It is unclear how Jiménez became catalep­tic, although the pris­on­er suf­fered from epilep­sy and took med­ica­tion for the con­di­tion — but his fam­i­ly say it was not always easy for Jiménez to stick to his sched­ule drugs in cus­tody, so it might have had some­thing to do with it.

In hos­pi­tal, it took 24 hours before Jiménez regained con­scious­ness in inten­sive care and start­ed talk­ing, which doc­tors said was a good sign.

When the “dead” woke up, he asked if he could see his wife.

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