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Baby pronounced 'dead' wakes up on the way to his own funeral

POSTED: December 7, 2017 5:59 a.m.
Melinda Fox/

Was it a result of a miracle or negligence?

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After a high-risk pregnancy, twins were born after only five months of gestation. The second twin, a girl, was stillborn; the first, a boy, was declared "dead" shortly after his sister's birth.

Each baby was placed in a plastic bag to be taken to the crematorium. As the family travelled toward Madhuban Chowk to perform the traditional Hindu funeral rites, a family member felt movement in one of the bags. They opened it to discover the baby boy was alive. The twins' grandfather said, "We ripped it open, found bits of plastic and the baby inside, breathing.”

They named the surviving twin "Champ." He's now living on life support in a nursing home.

“The doctors at the nursing home told us that the boy has several infections because he was exposed to the environment and had been wrapped in plastic. They haven’t told us whether he’ll survive.”

Response to the incident

Uncle to the twins, Deepak, told local media, “This shouldn’t happen to any other family. It has been extremely traumatic for us." The family has filed reports to investigate if the incident is a culpable homicide.

In response, Max Healthcare in New Delhi stated that "We are shaken and concerned at this rare incident. We are in constant touch with the parents and are providing all the needed support." They have fired two doctors in conjunction with the incident and the Delhi health minister has threatened to remove the hospital's license.

Other incidents

But this isn't the first time that a Delhi hospital has declared a living baby "dead."

For example, in June 2017, the government-run Safdarjung Hospital declared a 24-week pre-term fetus dead.

At home, they family wanted to see the baby one last time. Father Rohit Kumar said, “I wouldn’t have opened the polythene if it weren’t for the ladies of the family; they insisted on seeing the boy’s face. When we opened the cover we found he was moving his hands and feet."

The hospital did file an inquiry and admitted to the mistake: "We do admit there has been a lapse on our part; as it appears the staff on duty did not consult the doctor and presumed the baby dead as it had no signs of life and weighed 460 gms, which isn’t even viable as per standards. Such fetuses hardly survive."

Other "lapses" this year include a women allegedly giving birth to a boy but being handed a girl to take home and one of a pair of twins going missing.

Authorities are looking into these incidents and determining how to proceed to prevent further misfortunes.
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