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91-year-old alive in morgue 11 hours after 'death'

Janina Kolkiewicz suffers from late stage dementia and has "no inkling" of her time in the morgue, her niece said.

By Ben Hooper
91-year-old alive in morgue 11 hours after 'death'
Storage cooler in a morgue. (UPI/Shutterstock/Fer Gregory)

LUBARTOW, Poland, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A 91-year-old Polish woman who was declared dead was found to be alive inside her body bag in a morgue's cold storage area 11 hours later.

Janina Kolkiewicz's niece, Bogumila Kolkiewicz, said she called her family's physician, Dr. Wieslawa Czyz, when she found her aunt was not breathing and did not seem to have a pulse at their Lubartow home.

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Czyz confirmed the elder Kolkiewicz was deceased and wrote out a death certificate for the woman. However, the death certificate had to be invalidated when morgue staff found Kolkiewicz moving inside of her body bag.

Kolkiewicz returned home, where her family helped her warm up with soup and pancakes, her niece said.

"I was sure she was dead," Czyz told television station TVP. "I'm stunned, I don't understand what happened. Her heart had stopped beating, she was no longer breathing."

Bogumila Kolkiewicz said her aunt reported feeling "normal, fine" following her ordeal. She said the older woman has no comprehension of what took place.

"My aunt has no inkling of what happened since she has late-stage dementia," she told the Dziennik Wschodni newspaper.

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Police are investigating the incident and the Lublin District Prosecutor's Office said it has instituted criminal proceedings against the doctor.

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