Woman declared dead found still alive inside funeral home

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 3:51 PM EST
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URBANDALE, Iowa (KCCI) - A funeral home worker in Iowa got quite a shock when a woman who was thought to have died turned out to still be alive.

According to a report from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, a resident at the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center was placed in hospice care on Dec. 28, 2022, and was pronounced dead at 6 a.m. on Jan. 3 by a licensed practical nurse.

The report says a funeral director picked up the woman, who was thought to be dead, at the facility just after 7:30 a.m. The director reported there were no signs of life, zipped up the resident in a cloth bag, and dropped her body off at a funeral home and crematory within the hour.

A funeral home employee reportedly unzipped the bag, saw the woman’s chest moving and the woman gasped for air.

Medical workers said they were able to record a pulse and breathing from the woman, but there was no eye movement and no verbal response.

The woman was taken to a hospital and then back to the nursing home where she died less than two days later with her family at her side, according to the report.

The Department of Inspections and Appeals issued two state violations to the nursing home totaling $10,000.