A man came back to life – like the Biblical Lazarus – half an hour after doctors told his family he had died.
Michael Wilkinson, 23, ‘died’ in hospital of a previously undiagnosed heart condition after his mother found him collapsed in bed.
Doctors failed to revive the roofer and pronounced him dead, and he was given the last rites.
But 30 minutes later medics found a pulse and told relatives he was actually alive.
Mr Wilkinson, from Preston, was transferred to the intensive care unit at Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire where he survived for two days following an emergency operation. He then died on February 3rd this year.
An inquest heard that his return to life was known as Lazarus syndrome – the spontaneous return of circulation after attempts to resuscitate fail. There have only ever been 38 cases recorded worldwide.
The syndrome takes its name from the biblical story of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by Jesus.
At time of Mr Wilkinson’s death, his mother Susan Horrigan, 44, said: ‘It was as if he had been taken away from me, then given back only to be taken away again.’
John Whittaker, A&E consultant, told the inquest at Preston Magistrates Court: ‘When we pronounce him dead that is not a small thing, you make absolutely certain.
‘The decision to pronounce him dead was because we had worked on him for 15 minutes and come to the end of what we could do.
‘There is a phenomenon known as Lazarus syndrome. It is incredibly rare. There have only been 38 cases of this ever in the world.’
He said Michael’s pulse restarting was probably due to the drugs he had been given