Relatives of an 80-year-old man have claimed he was still alive when the funeral company came to take his body away after being certified dead by the clinic where he had reportedly spent his “final days”.
Candelario Gutierrez Hernandez was hospitalised in a Barranquilla clinic, in the northern Colombian department of Atlantico, with breathing problems in the days leading up to his death, family members said.
On his last day, the elderly man was confirmed dead at 7am and his family were issued with his death certificate, according to reports.
“We were told he had died of natural causes and we were given the death certificate. His corpse was left in a body bag at the clinic,” his daughter, surnamed Gutierrez Fontalvo, told local media.
The family returned home about 3pm and called the funeral home to collect his body.
“When the undertakers arrived, they called to tell us he was still alive. We immediately called the hospital and the paramedics told us he was still alive,” Ms Fontalvo said.
“Several doctors checked him and told us the same. He was still alive.
“We went there and saw that he had his eyes open and was moving his hands, he was still warm.”
The victim’s niece Luzneira Gutierrez said Mr Hernandez opened his eyes and cried when she touched him.
The elderly man finally died at around 6.30pm, according to reports.
The clinic that allegedly issued his premature death certificate has yet to comment on the matter officially but have promised to issue a press release soon.
It is unclear whether the family plans to take legal action against the clinic or if the local authorities are investigating the incident.
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