A young woman who was declared dead at her suburban Detroit home opened her eyes at a funeral home as she was about to be embalmed, a lawyer has said.
“They would have begun draining her blood to be very, very frank about it,” Geoffrey Fieger told WXYZ-TV. Fieger, who was hired by the family, identified the woman as Timesha Beauchamp.
The Southfield fire department acknowledged it was involved in a bizarre set of events on Sunday that began when a medical crew was summoned to a home where a 20-year-old woman was unresponsive.
Paramedics tried to revive her for 30 minutes and consulted an emergency room doctor, the department said.
The doctor “pronounced the patient deceased based upon medical information provided” from the scene, the department said.
The Oakland county medical examiner’s office said the body could be released to the family without an autopsy, according to the fire department.
But then came a startling discovery at the James H Cole funeral home in Detroit: the woman was still alive more than an hour later.
“Our staff confirmed she was breathing” and called a emergency medical crew, the funeral home said.
Fieger said: “They were about to embalm her, which is most frightening, had she not had her eyes open … The funeral home unzipping the body bag, literally that’s what happened to Timesha, and seeing her alive with her eyes open.”
Fieger did not return a message from the Associated Press.
Beauchamp was in a critical condition on Monday night, said Brian Taylor, spokesman for the Detroit Medical Centre.
“My heart is so heavy. Someone pronounced my child dead, and she’s not even dead,” Beauchamp’s mother, Erica Lattimore, told WDIV-TV.
Southfield said it was conducting an internal investigation but insisted that the fire and police departments had followed procedures.