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Detroit funeral home finds woman, 20, alive after she was declared dead

By Jean Lotus
Detroit funeral home finds woman, 20, alive after she was declared dead
Staffers at a Detroit funeral home found a 20-year-old woman was alive after paramedics performed CPR and life-saving measures and she was declared dead in a hospital emergency room. Photo courtesy of Detroit Fire Department

Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Funeral home workers in Detroit discovered a 20-year-old Oakland County, Mich., woman was alive after she was declared dead at a local emergency room and brought in after being released to her family.

The Southfield Fire Department was called to the woman's home at 7:34 a.m. Sunday by family members who found her unresponsive, a statement from the department said. Paramedics performed CPR and other lifesaving methods, but she did not revive.

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"Given medical readings and the condition of the patient, it was determined at that time that she did not have signs of life," Fire Chief Johnny Menifee said in a statement Monday, as reported in the Oakland Press.

The woman, whose name was not released, was declared dead by emergency room doctors at Ascension Health who reported the death to the Oakland County Medical Examiner's office. Officials did not release the purported cause of death.

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The medical examiner's office decides whether to perform an autopsy or release a body to family members, Bill Mullan, a spokesman for Oakland County, told the Detroit News.

The body was released to the James H. Cole Home for Funerals, which issued a statement saying staff picked up the woman's body after receiving clearance from the medical examiner.

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"Upon her arrival at the funeral home, our staff confirmed she was breathing and called EMS," the statement said.

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The woman was taken to a Detroit hospital, where she remains.

Detroit Fire Department medics found the woman breathing, with a heart rate of 80, Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the department said.

"We couldn't believe it," Fornell added.

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The funeral home had no further information, saying in a statement, "It is our practice not to comment on open investigations."

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