A Brazilian man pronounced dead by physicians in Salvador, Brazil this weekend was fortunately found alive by his brother shortly before his burial.
The man credits a Brazilian saint for bringing him back to life.
"I, Valdelucio, saw death at my feet, but my faith was so great that I was cured," Valdelucio Goncalves wrote in a letter to Brazil's G1 website. "Before Irma Dulce [a saint credited with miraculous powers in Brazil], I said, do a miracle in me, and she heard my prayer. I saw my mother telling me, son hold onto her, and you will be saved."
Goncalves, 54, was declared dead just after 11:00 p.m. on Saturday evening due to "respiratory and multiple organ failure." The family took him to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing, but they did not expect him to pass away.
"We were worried about him and thought he'd be better off in [the] hospital, that they'd take better care of him than we could at home," his niece, Patricia Cintra, said. "It was a shock to all of us when they called to tell us he'd passed away. But we started making the funeral arrangements. By Sunday morning everything was sorted. We'd paid for his death notice in a newspaper, bought the coffin, and booked his funeral. His feet had already been tied together and his nose and ears stuffed with cotton wool."
When Goncalves' brother, Walterio, went to the morgue to dress his brother's body, he received a shock.
"We had already made all the arrangements for my brother's funeral," he said. "All I needed to do was put some new clothes on him, so he'd be ready for the undertaker to come and collect him. Workers at the morgue let me in, and showed me where he was lying, in a zipped-up body bag. But as I got closer, I could see it wriggling. Then I saw it raising and falling as if he was breathing. I went crazy and shouted for the medical team, the nurse, so they could see what was happening. They checked him and confirmed that he was still alive."
Goncalves was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, but his family requested that he be transferred to another facility. He is currently doing well, and the Meandro de Faria General Hospital is conducting an investigation into the ordeal.