Thomas Sancomb, a Milwaukee man, was declared legally dead. But in Sancomb’s case, medics made a grave error. The 46-year-old man, while getting prepped to be driven to the morgue, shocked everyone by moving his limbs as they were about to move him into a body bag. Sancomb’s family had requested an autopsy to determine his cause of death. To the delight of family, they can simply ask him what happened.
Writes The Associated Press, via ABC News: “The girlfriend of the 46-year-old man had not been able to reach him for two days, and called police Tuesday asking for an officer to check on him. An officer went to the man’s home and entered his apartment with the building manager. The man, identified by relatives as Thomas Sancomb, had collapsed at the end of his bed, according to the heavily redacted report from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner.”
Paramedics from the Milwaukee Fire Department were called, and according to the on-site report, Sancomb was “cold to the touch and in rigor,” so no resuscitation attempts were made. He was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m. May 21.
Forensic investigator Genevieve Penn called his death, and then phoned Sancomb’s brother to inform family of his passing. When a morgue transport team arrived at the apartment, Sancomb started to display some “spontaneous respirations,” wrote Penn.
Still, Penn indicated “no pulse was evident,” but paramedics were called back in and this time, Sancomb was resuscitated. He was taken to Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, where his condition was not released.
The Milwaukee Fire Department is now investigating the incident to determine why Sancomb was not given any lifesaving measures at the time they arrived.
“We’re doing an internal investigation to make sure that everything we did followed protocol,” said Assistant Fire Chief Gerard Washington. “It’s an active investigation, so I can’t comment in detail.”
Columbia Hospital spokesman Evan Solochek would not release details, citing patient privacy regulations.
As far as what may have caused Sancomb to “die,” family is unsure. Sancomb was not a heavy smoker or drinker, and had no medical ailments that they knew of, commented his brother John.
Adds The AP report: “[John] told The Associated Press that his brother is improving every day. The medical examiner’s office declined to comment on the case. The Milwaukee Police Department said only that officers responded to a welfare check and found the man unresponsive in a bedroom. Milwaukee Fire Department Lt. Mark Stanmeyer referred questions to fire officials, who rejected a request to speak to the lieutenant who responded to the apartment.”
“Thomas’ health is the most important thing we’re focusing on right now,” John said, declining to give any further comment.