In what’s being described as a miracle, a Milwaukee man who was pronounced dead and on his way to the medical examiner suddenly woke up. It turns out that the man has a worrisome medical condition that made him feel devoid of vital signs. Wisconsin authorities are trying to determine if the proper procedures were followed with the “dead” man on Tuesday, according to a May 23 CNN report.
Thomas Sancomb’s girlfriend grew worried when she was not able to reach him. Because he apparently suffers from a severe thyroid problem, she called 911 operators. Police were dispatched to the man’s residence at the Tower Apartments for a well visit. An officer entered the home and found Sancomb collapsed at the foot of the bed. Medics were called to the location, but when they arrived, the man appeared to have died, according to the incident report.
“They found him cold to the touch and in rigor. They did not attempt to resuscitate him. Death was pronounced.”
A medical examiner was called and a dispatch was made for a transport crew to take the man to the morgue. An hour later when staff arrived, the unthinkable happened: the “dead man” moved his arm and leg. Because the first responders had already left the scene, a 911 call was made for paramedics. When the Milwaukee Fire Department arrived, the victim was breathing. He was transported to Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
The man’s brother spoke to reporters about the incident. He confirmed that the victim suffers from a condition that often mimics death. At the time he was feared dead and on his way to the medical examiner’s office, his body temperature was only 84 degrees.
Because his jaw and neck muscles were stiff, emergency personnel thought rigor mortis had set in. Doctors describe this a rare type of coma that actually occurs when the body shuts down to protect itself. But in doing so, it gives off the appearance of death.
The brother said Sancomb “occasionally” smokes cigars and drinks beer, but he does not abuse drugs or alcohol. An officials report on the incident confirms it.
Assistant Chief Gerard Washington told him addressed questions about procedure.
“We’re doing an internal investigation to make sure that everything we did followed protocol. It’s an active investigation, so I can’t comment in detail.”
Hopefully, with the “dead man” alive now, the medical examiner can assist in the investigation to prevent this from occurring again in the future.