Spanish prisoner declared dead wakes up in mortuary

An investigation has been launched into how the man ended up being prepared for an autopsy

An investigation has been launched into how the man ended up being prepared for an autopsy

A man in Spain was declared dead by three doctors and sent to the morgue for an autopsy.

Relatives said Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez "had autopsy markings on him, ready to be opened up" when a doctor at the Legal Medicine in Oviedo heard him sawing wood inside his body bag, the BBC reported citing Spanish-language outlet La Voz de Asturias. As recently as last April a 49-year-old Parisienne was mistakenly pronounced dead by a doctor following a heart attack. He was transferred to an ICU in a nearby hospital where he recovered enough to talk.

An official investigation has been launched to find out how the man's vitals were not discovered or if any medical steps were not carried out correctly.

He may suffer from an unusual medical condition that makes a person's vital signs drop to undetectable levels.

"Relatives have been visiting him in the hospital and are said to be feeling a mix of relief and indignation, although none of them have yet made any public comment", the Sun reported. A Spanish Prison Service spokesman was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying that they had no idea how Montoya was still alive after three physicians confirmed his death.

Montoya has been in prison for 29 years.

Some reports suggest this may have been a case of catalepsy.

Doctors now believe Montoya may suffer from a condition called catalepsy, which causes a person's vital signs to slow down to nearly imperceptible levels.

Jimenez's family said he has epilepsy and was on medication, but feared he had not been taking it at the right times in prison.

After regaining conscious 24 hours later, the first thing he did was ask about his wife, according to the newspaper. Doctors said his brain was deprived of oxygen for a while, but he is able to speak and remember things, which are both good signs.

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