A West Virgina woman's heart stopped three times and she was brain dead for 17 hours at a hospital. Rigor mortis had set in and the family was discussing donating her organs when she suddenly woke up. She now appears to be in good heath.
[Val] Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said.
"Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in," said son Jim Thomas.
They rushed her to a West Virginia hospital. Doctors put Thomas on a special machine which induces hypothermia. The treatment involves lowering the body temperature for up to 24 hours before warming a patient up.
After that procedure, her heart stopped again.
"She had no neurological function," said Dr. Kevin Eggleston.
Her family said goodbye and doctors removed all the tubes.
However, Thomas was kept on a ventilator a little while longer as an organ donor issue was discussed.
Ten minutes later the woman woke up and started talking.