A 29-year-old prisoner woke up on an autopsy table after being declared dead by three doctors just a few hours before, according to reports.
Gonzalo Montoya, who was convicted of theft of junk, was certified dead on Sunday in a prison cell at the Penitentiary Center of Asturias where he is serving his sentence in Asturias, northwest Spain, reports claim.
Three medics are thought to have determined he had no vital signs and his ‘corpse’ had been put in a body bag, Telecinco.es reports.
But hours later when he was sent to the Legal Medicine Institute of Oviedo, forensic doctors there heard noises and realised that he was alive.
Local news site lavozdeasturias.es said Montoya was ‘saved by a snore’ on the autopsy table.
He was reportedly found to be alive shortly before his autopsy was due to take place, with the markings for the examination already on his body – according to his family.
After the prisoner regained consciousness though, he was moved to the Central University Hospital of Asturias in Oviedo.
Sources say it may have been a case of catalepsy, a medical condition characterised by a loss of sensation and consciousness.
Montoya had earlier been found unconscious in his cell and is believed to have been examined by three doctors.
The removal of his body was ordered, and the autopsy was being organised to try and establish the cause of death.
However, just four hours later, he was ‘resurrected,’ his family claimed.
The first thing Montoya did when he woke up was to ask after his wife, according to reports.
Montoya remains in hospital in the intensive care unit, but is believed to be in a stable condition. Reports say it is still too early to determine any long-term effects because of this incident.
His family said he had epilepsy and said this condition may have been linked to the incident, although this has not yet been confirmed.
A spokesman for the Spanish Prison Service said : “Two prison doctors concluded he had clinical signs of death following a morning roll call and informed police, his next-of-kin and a local duty court as part of standard procedure.
“The court sent a forensic doctor who was the one who actually confirmed his death.
“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.”