Man Found Alive 18 Days After Funeral

A Portuguese man who was reported as dead by his local hospital has been seen alive, 18 days after his supposed funeral and burial.

The 92-year-old man from Milheirós de Poiares, Feira, northern Portugal, was declared dead on January 10.

The old man had been hospitalized for about two months at the Hospital de Oliveira de Azeméis, in the city of Santa Maria da Feira, due to respiratory problems, before being infected with coronavirus there.

After the man's family was informed of his death by employees of the medical centre on January 10, the funeral was held two days later.

"They called my sister to say that he had passed away. I still tried to see the body to recognize it, but they didn't let me", the man's son, Aurelino Vieira, told the Portuguese daily Jornal de Notícias (JN).

"I insisted on seeing the body, because something made me suspect that it might not be my father, but they didn't let me and I understood," he added.

In a bizarre turn of events, last Saturday, the family were informed that their relative's death was an "error" and the man was still alive, the newspaper reported.

The buried body belonged to another family, which was later contacted and informed of the death by the hospital.

"Doctors from the hospital came to talk to me saying that there was an error and that my father was alive, so I could confirm it. They apologized for the error," said Vieira, who immediately went to the Oliveira de Azeméis Hospital to see his father.

"My father was alive and conscious. I was talking to him and he is lucid," Vieira said.

Despite the emotional damage caused by the false announcement, the son understood how busy medical workers are at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I know that at this point the doctors are working hard, but I hope that this event will serve to be more careful in the future," he said.

A similar incident happened in November in India when a 75-year-old COVID-19 patient in Bengal returned home alive, days after being declared dead.

Shibdas Bandyopadhyay, a resident of Birati, returned home a day before the family members were to perform his shradh—a period when Hindus remember their ancestors by offering prayers.

The man was admitted to hospital in Barasat on November 11 after he tested positive for the virus and two days later his family were informed of his death. But he was confused with another elderly COVID patient who had died.

Stock image of gravestone
A stock image of a gravestone. A man in Portugal who was reported as dead by his local hospital has been seen alive, 18 days after his funeral. Miguel Palacios/Getty