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Mississippi man who woke up inside body bag dies

Posted by Doug Saffir  March 14, 2014 12:01 AM

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February 26 was not a good day for Walter Williams. Neither was March 13.

Back in February, the 78-year-old man from Mississippi was mistakenly pronounced dead, only to show signs of life as workers at a funeral home were preparing to embalm him.

The Associated Press said he had been in hospice care for a heart condition prior to the incident. When workers and a coroner were unable to find a pulse, they placed him in a body bag and took him to a funeral home.

The father of 11, grandfather of 15, and great-grandfather of six had gone into hospice in late February because of congestive heart failure. He was declared dead by a coroner the first time when neither the coroner nor others, including nurses, could find a pulse.

‘‘After they got through checking him, the coroner, they pronounced him dead and put him in a plastic bag, zipped him up and took him, put him in the hearse and they left,’’ said Eddie Hester, Williams’ nephew.

‘‘The mortician said something wasn’t right,’’ said Williams’ daughter, Martha A. Lewis. ‘‘His leg started moving.’’

That had to have been terrifying for all parties involved. Waking up in a body bag is awful, but seeing a man you thought was dead start to move doesn't sound like a picnic either.

Williams was rushed to a hospital where doctors explained that his mix of medications could have made it hard to find a pulse. His family said they thought his pacemaker might have stopped briefly before starting again.

Over the next two weeks, the story quickly picked up steam as Williams had experienced one of everybody's worst fears.

And then on Thursday came the somber news that Williams died around 1 a.m. in his Lexington home.

Presumably, they double-checked this time.

(H/T Fark)

Reach me at Follow me @dougsaffir

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