A 65-year-old man came back to life two-and-a-half hours after doctors at the Seberang Jaya Hospital pronounced him dead.
This rare phenomenon known as the Lazarus Syndrome has now become the talk of the town.
Upon learning of the self-employed man's death, his family began making funeral arrangements and had even put up a canopy in front of his house on Jalan Tok Elong, Tanah Liat in Bukit Mertajam.
His wife and his 26-year-old son, who were on their way to the Central Seberang Prai district police station to lodge a report, were stunned when a doctor called to inform them that the man was alive.
Relating the incident, the man's son, known only as Wei, said he had rushed his father to hospital at about 11am yesterday when he stopped breathing at their home.
“The doctors performed CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation) and pronounced him dead an hour later. We then left for the police station when we received a call from a doctor at about 1.30pm,” he said.
Wei said they rushed back to the hospital and saw him being transferred to the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit).
It is learnt that the man and his 70-year-old brother had a quarrel outside their house at about 10.30am. The man apparently sustained an injury on his right hand and collapsed shortly after returning home.
A hospital spokesman said doctors performed CPR for over an hour but there was no response.
“Doctors pronounced the man dead after waiting for almost two hours,” she added. “We kept monitoring him and noticed that he suddenly began breathing after two-and-a-half hours. We then put him on a respirator,” she said.
She said the Lazarus Syndrome was rare. It refers to the spontaneous return of circulation once attempts at resuscitation had failed.
The syndrome takes its name from the biblical story of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus.
According to The Telegraph report on the Internet, there were only 38 recorded cases in the world up to June 2009.