A 50-year-old asthmatic man woke up after nearly 24 hours in the mortuary of a private undertaker in Transkei, South-Africa on Sunday afternoon.
He was presumed dead by his family who called the undertaker at Libode in the Transkei region.
Eastern Cape Health Department spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo, said he lost consciousness while asleep at his home in a nearby village on Saturday evening.
“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 5pm and screamed, demanding to be taken out of the cold place.”
He said 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 then 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,” he said.