When Montoya woke up, he found his body marked for an autopsy. Doctors thought he was deceased until they heard snoring noises from inside the body bag and the man was rushed to a hospital!
Gonzalo Jimenez Montoya is a 29-year-old prisoner serving time for stealing scrap metal. He had been placed in the highest security facility and was almost through with his 3-year sentence.
“He’s a depressive kid, who did not kill anyone; he took a little scrap to feed his five children and punished him with three years and six months in prison, “says his uncle, Tanasio Montoya.
Unfortunately, the anguish of being in prison and suffering from epilepsy had left Montoya very vulnerable. He had attempted suicide previously and his family was worried that he was not getting the help he needed.
A Mistaken Death
When Montoya failed to show up for the 8am headcount at the prison, the security went looking for him. Officers found the man slumped over in the chair of his cell. They checked for a pulse and found none. The doctor on shift declared Montoya deceased which was confirmed by the next shift doctor. A third doctor, a forensics specialist, had also signed off on the death certificate. Montoya was then sent in a body bag to the Institute of Legal Medicine for an autopsy.
"They had already marked the body to open it with the scalpel," relatives told Il Mattino.
It is believed that Montoya had deliberately taken an overdose of his epileptic medication the night before. The family is accusing the prison of not looking after their son and nephew properly. They claim that the prison knew of his mental vulnerability and has refused to help.
"The pills are taken as they (the prisoners) want," said Luis Manuel Montoya, his uncle, to La Voz de Asturias.
When the doctors examined Montoya in his cell they described him as being in a state of rigor mortis as well as having a purplish skin tone, both consistent with death. After attempting to revive him, they agreed on a “deceased” diagnosis.
"Forensic doctors began to hear noises coming from inside the bag. Montoya was not dead. Quite the opposite, The forensic [pathologist] proceeded to open the bag and found the inmate still alive." reported El Espanol.
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Questioning How He Got To The Autopsy Table
"We don't want him to go back to jail. If he goes in, he will come out as a body," Mr Montoya said. Shocked by his nephew's suicide attempt, he said he nevertheless understood it. "He is young, he is 29 years old and has his whole life ahead of him. He has been in jail three years and he couldn't go on anymore."
In the 1840s, people found themselves terrified of the cataleptic state and being buried alive. Much of this fear was owed to author Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, The Premature Burial in which he told stories of those who had been buried alive.
Montoya’s situation isn’t as rare as one would think. But his survival is in part to the steps taken by those in the Victorian era to ensure that live burials did not occur. Among the traditions of coffin bells and flags, they also instituted the “waiting morgue” so that those thought to be deceased were not immediately buried but rather sent to a morgue for officials to prepare the body.
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Recovering And Seeking A New Purpose
After Montoya’s body was discovered, he was transferred under armed guard to the hospital. There it took 24 hours for him to regain consciousness in the intensive care. When he was finally able to speak, he asked for his wife.
“He does not remember anything more than when he opened his eyes he was in a black bag,” says his wife, Katia Tarancón.
The doctors and staff continue to be baffled by the case.
"I can't comment on what happened at the Institute of Legal Medicine but three doctors have seen clinical signs of death so it's still not clear at the moment exactly why this occurred."
Either way, this man was given a new chance to live. We hope that he will take this opportunity to make every moment count and make a difference for the better in the world! This is a reminder that only God knows the number of our days!
h/t : CBSNews
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