News Asia-Pacific

Saturday 23 August 2014

'Dead' three-year-old girl wakes up in coffin at her own funeral in Philippines

Lizzie Dearden

Published 14/07/2014 | 13:46

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A three-year-old girl has woken up in a coffin during preparations for her own funeral in the Philippines.

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A video posted online captured the commotion when her family discovered she was alive, despite being declared dead in hospital the day before.

One of her parents’ neighbours reportedly removed the lid of her coffin to arrange the body on Sunday and noticed the girl’s head move.

The toddler was quickly lifted out of the coffin, appearing weak but breathing, and wrapped in a  shawl as amazed mourners gathered around to see.

She was then carried out of the church in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, in the Philippines.

Inspector Heidil Teelan, the local police chief, told the Philippines Star the girl had been suffering from a severe fever for days and was taken into hospital on Friday.

“The attending clinic personnel and physician confirmed that the young patient had no more pulse and was clinically dead last Saturday morning about 9am,” he added.

“We really cannot make confirmation on the status of the girl but based on the observation of the police personnel I deployed it appeared the girl remained in a state of comatose in their house."

The toddler was allowed to return home after being checked over at hospital and nurses have been sent to the family home to monitor her treatment.

Several people have woken up at their own funerals in recent years, prompting fears that premature burial may not have been consigned to history by medical impovements.

In March, 79-year-old Walter Williams woke up in a body bag just before he was to be embalmed in the US.

Doctors had checked his pulse and found no heartbeat but an undertaker later said the confusion may have been caused by his pacemaker turning off.

In Egypt in 2012, a waiter turned his funeral into a celebration after a doctor signing his death certificate realised he was still alive.

The 28-year-old’s body had been washed and prepared for burial after he suffered a heart attack at work.

In the Victorian period, the fear of accidentally being buried alive drove the popularity of “safety coffins” with bell pulls on the inside so people could signal to the surface.

Independent News Service

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