Woman found breathing at New York funeral home hours after being pronounced dead

PORT JEFFERSON, NY (WPIX) – An 82-year-old woman was found breathing in a funeral home hours after she was pronounced dead at a Long Island nursing home, officials said.

The woman, who has not been publicly named, was pronounced dead Saturday morning at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Port Jefferson, Suffolk County Police said. She was taken to a funeral home in Miller Place shortly thereafter.

Less than an hour after arriving at the funeral home, authorities say the woman was found breathing. She was then taken to the hospital.

Additional details, including the woman’s current condition, were not immediately available and the incident is being referred to the New York State Attorney General’s office.

Last week, a continuing care home in Des Moines, Iowa, was fined $10,000 after a funeral home discovered a woman sent to it in a body bag was still alive.

According to the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals, the 66-year-old woman was pronounced dead at an Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale in early January. After funeral home workers discovered she was still breathing, they called authorities and the woman was taken to the hospital where she was breathing but unresponsive.

The woman returned to hospice care, where she died two days later.

In August 2020, a woman with cerebral palsy living in Southfield, Michigan was pronounced dead to be found alive at a funeral home. Emergency responders were called after the family of 20-year-old Timesha Beauchamp reported she appeared to have serious breathing problems. A doctor, who was not at the scene, pronounced Beauchamp dead after a first responder reported by phone that she had been unconscious for 30 minutes and showed no signs of life.

Beauchamp was later taken to hospital after funeral home staff saw her chest move. She remained hospitalized in critical condition until her death in October 2020. Her family filed a $50 million federal lawsuit against the city of Southfield and the four first responders who cared for Beauchamp.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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