Man Declared Dead Wakes Up Hours Before Autopsy

El Espanol/Haberturk

Waking up in a morgue sounds like something right out of a horror movie, but believe it or not, it happens more often that you realize.

There have been multiple instances when doctors declare a person dead only for them to come back to life hours later. Sometimes this happens because a patient's vitals, like their pulse and breathing, may be too weak to be detected, and other times, this is brought on by what is known as Lazarus Syndrome.

Named after the Biblical figure, Lazarus, who was bought back to life by Jesus, the inexplicable phenomenon occurs when a person who couldn't be resuscitated experiences a spontaneous return of circulation.

One man recently experienced this real-life nightmare when he woke up on the autopsy table just four hours before the procedure was scheduled to begin.

Gonzalo Montoya Jimenez, an inmate at a prison in Spain, failed to show up for roll call one morning, and when the prison officials went to search for him, he was found slumped over on a chair in his cell.

Attempts to resuscitate him failed, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. His supposedly lifeless body was then placed in a body bag and transported to the hospital for an autopsy.

Upon arrival, the 29-year-old's body was prepped for the procedure, which would determine his cause of death. However, doctors had the surprise of their life when Jiminez regained consciousness while laying on the morgue table covered in scalpel lines.

El Espanol

So how did they realize he was alive? He started to snore. He eventually regained full consciousness and according to reports, he spoke about his family, including his wife and daughter.

"I can’t comment on what happened at the Institute of Legal Medicine," a spokesperson for the Spanish Prison Service said, adding, "but three doctors saw clinical signs of death so it’s still not clear at the moment exactly why this occurred."

Hospital officials were just as baffled as Jiminez about what could've caused this bizarre incident, but according to various media reports, doctors think it could have been caused by a condition called catalepsy.

Catalepsy is when a person loses consciousness and the body becomes rigid, making a person seem dead. This condition occurs in people who suffer from epilepsy, which Jiminez has been diagnosed with.


The inmate is currently in the intensive care unit, and is reportedly in stable condition.

Jiminez, who is serving time for stealing metal scrap has seven months left of his sentence, but his family are already petitioning for an early release because they're worried about his physical and mental health. He tried to commit suicide a few months ago.

"We don’t want him to go back to jail. If he goes in, he will come out as a body," Jiminez's uncle said. "He is young, he is 29 years old and has his whole life ahead of him. He has been in jail three years and he couldn’t go on anymore."

The family are also questioning the competencies of the three doctors who examined their relative and declared him dead. There seems to be a lot of questions that both prison and hospital officials will have to answer in the coming weeks.

How would you feel if you ever woke up in a morgue? Let us know in the comments!