It's like a horror movie that has come to life. Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez, a 29-year-old Spanish prisoner, was discovered unconscious in his jail cell on Sunday. It was reported in a local newspaper, La Voz de Asturias, that three different doctors inside the prison medical facility examined his body and determined that he was Dead. To everyone's shock, Jiménez woke up inside the morgue as the mortician was preparing his body for an autopsy. A report by IFL Science presented most of the information used in this article.

The stuff of nightmares

After being Declared dead by three separate physicians, Jiménez's body was bagged and moved to a mortuary in Oviedo known as the Institute of Legal Medicine.

The forensic team was preparing his body for an autopsy when they noticed that he wasn't actually dead. The coroner's guidelines were being drawn on his torso when they realized that everything needed to come to a halt.

Jiménez was immediately transferred to another hospital and is recovering in the ICU. Lack of oxygen to the brain during an event such as this one can leave people with severe brain damage. However, Jiménez is already talking again. His doctor believes that he will make a full recovery and that there is an explanation for why he was declared dead.


Why would three doctors presume that a man was dead when he was very much alive? Catalepsy may be to blame. This condition is a symptom of epilepsy and can give the illusion of death.

It can be very easy to mistake someone for dead when they are suffering from the symptoms of catalepsy, which include rigidness, loss of muscle control, slowed breathing, and unresponsiveness. It is a nervous disorder which also includes decreased sensitivity to pain regardless of external stimulus. Catalepsy can be brought on by cocaine withdrawal and anti-psychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia.

Jiménez suffers from epilepsy, according to his family. It is unknown whether or not the prison medical staff was aware of his medical condition when they pronounced him dead on Sunday.

Eerily uncommon

Being declared dead when one is still alive might sound like a rare occurrence, but it is not. There have been a few other cases in the recent years when a living person was declared medically dead.

In Poland, a 91-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a hospital in 2014. Doctors took a second look after she woke up in the morgue complaining that she was cold. The same thing happened in Mississippi that year when a 78-year-old man began moving around inside his body bag.