“I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello.” ~ The Beatles
Death is supposed to the ultimate goodbye — the final bow on life’s stage, after which a person is never seen or heard from again.
But occasionally, some attention-starved corpse comes back for a curtain call.
Technically it’s called Lazarus Syndrome, a rare but medically documented condition in which people previously deemed dead suddenly pop back to life.
Popular culture teaches us that, in the event of Lazarus Syndrome, we must bash in the patient’s skull before he or she eats our braaaaiiiinnnns.
In reality, a more common reaction is to seek out a good malpractice lawyer.
7. The not-quite-dead prostitute
In April 2013, a prostitute in Zimbabwe keeled over after what must have been some killer sex with a customer.
The prostitute evidently gave her client plenty of bang for his buck, because authorities were called to the Manor Hotel in Bulawayo to retrieve her lifeless body.
As the police tried to put the woman’s body inside a metal casket, however, she sprung back to life and reportedly hollered: “You want to kill me!”
Onlookers, understandably, went bonkers.
“People were running away in different directions,” a source told bulawayo24.com. “It was like a movie. Miracles surely do happen.”
The woman’s client reportedly sneaked out of the hotel, lest he be charged with temporarily killing her.
6. Being dead sure makes a kid thirsty
“Daddy, can I have some water?” asked the dead little boy.
According to mostly reliable sources, a two-year-old Brazilian boy was feeling parched at his own wake in the summer of 2012, so he became undead to request a beverage.
Little Kelvin Santos apparently stopped breathing during pneumonia treatment at a Brazilian hospital and was handed over to his parents in a body bag.
Just an hour before his funeral was to take place, the boy apparently sat upright in his open coffin and made his drink order.
It was a fleeting burst of life, sadly, because the boy then “died” again, this time for real. The family reportedly delayed the rescheduled funeral, however, to make sure the boy was actually gone before putting him in the ground.
5. Eavesdropping on her own funeral?
A 49-year-old Russian woman who died of an apparent heart attack — possibly caused from the stress of trying to pronounce her own name, Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov — rejoined the living after her own funeral.
Lying in her open casket, she faintly heard mourners sobbing and praying for her soul, which she understandably found surprising.
So she burst back to life and started screaming — a sound that was presumably echoed by everyone in attendance.
She was reportedly rushed back to the hospital, but only stayed undead for another 12 minutes, after which she resumed being dead.
“This time for good,” as her widower put it to the Austrian Times.
4. The zombie junkie
Some of the cases on this list are of dubious credibility. Some people were probably not actually dead, but merely unconscious with weak vital signs.
But this guy was dead dead. Medical literature says so.
After overdosing on ecstasy and cocaine, a 27-year-old man was rushed to hospital, where 25 minutes of attempted resuscitation failed to bring back a pulse or any breathing. Doornail dead.
The medical staff declared him gone, then moved on to another patient. That’s when his pulse resumed and he was hooked up to a ventilator.
After 18 days in hospital, he made a full recovery with no brain damage.
But still: say no to drugs. Zombification is never guaranteed.
3. The autopsy wake-up call
Carlos Camejo of Venezuela was declared dead after a car crash in 2007.
Although his wife had not yet arrived to identify the body, medical examiners decided to dive right into the autopsy.
Whey they sliced into his face with a scalpel, they were perplexed by the appearance of freshly pumped blood.
They were also surprised when Camejo woke up and started freaking out.
“I woke up because the pain was unbearable,” Camejo told the El Universal newspaper.
By the time his wife arrived, Camejo was waiting for her in a hallway of the morgue, holding the autopsy record as a souvenir.
2. Stillborn baby was not so still
Analia Bouter of Argentina was understandably devastated when her baby was declared stillborn following an emergency C-section in April 2012.
Because she and her husband weren’t given a chance to see the child after the operation, they went down to the refrigerated morgue hours afterward to have a glimpse of their lost child and say goodbye.
Although a layer of ice had formed over the baby in the frigid morgue, Bouter said she could sense the baby “looking” at her, so she reached out to touch the newborn’s hand. The baby let out a tiny whimper.
Although the baby reportedly suffered brain damage, she remained alive and her parents named her Luz Milagros, which roughly translates to “Light Miracles.”
1. I’m alive… who’s hungry?
For two weeks after falling and suffering a head injury, a 95-year-old Chinese woman named Li Xiufeng was presumed dead.
In keeping with custom, she was placed in a coffin for days before her funeral so friends could pay their final respects.
Just before she was due for her final send-off, a neighbor noticed that the coffin was empty.
The woman was in the kitchen, famished after a long stretch of apparent death.
“I slept for a long time,” she reportedly told shocked villagers. “After waking up, I felt so hungry and wanted to cook something to eat.”
One can only assume she stir-fried a nice wok full of braaaiiinnns.