Funeral home staff would have started draining Timesha Beauchamp’s blood had they not realised the 20-year-old, who has special needs and was found in cardiac arrest at home in suburban Detroit, was still alive it is claimed.
A young woman who was mistakenly pronounced dead by paramedics opened her eyes as funeral home staff prepared to embalm her.
Undertakers would have started draining Timesha Beauchamp’s blood had they not realised she was still alive, a lawyer for her family said.
The 20-year-old, who has special needs, is now in a critical condition on a ventilator at a hospital in the US city of Detroit, Michigan.
Paramedics were called to the family’s home in the suburb of Southfield after Miss Beauchamp, who has undisclosed medical issues, was found unresponsive and in cardiac arrest on Sunday morning.
She wasn’t breathing, and paramedics performed CPR and other “live reviving methods” for 30 minutes before she was declared dead at the scene, said Southfield Fire Department Chief Johnny Menifee.
The fire chief said in a statement: “Given medical readings and the condition of the patient, it was determined at that time that she did not have signs of life.
“Because there was no indication of foul play, as per standard operating procedure, the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office was contacted and given the medical data.
“The patient was again determined to have expired and the body was released directly to the family to make arrangements with a funeral home of their choosing.”
The fire department told ABC 11 that paramedics gave information about the call to a local A&E doctor, who pronounced the woman dead based on those details.https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/widgets/established/general?fixedheight&webreachnews&theme=mirror
Geoffrey Fieger, a lawyer for the Beauchamp family, told WXYZ that Timesha’s godmother, a registered nurse, told the paramedics that she detected a pulse.
He added: “They were about to embalm her which is most frightening had she not had her eyes open.
“They would have begun draining her blood to be very, very frank about it.
“It’s one of people’s worst nightmares to imagine having an ambulance called and instead, sending you off to a funeral home in a body bag. The funeral home unzipping the body bag, literally, that’s what happened to Timesha, and seeing her alive with her eyes open.”
Mr Fieger said there was a one-and-a-half hour delay in transporting Miss Beauchamp from the family’s house to the funeral home, and that may be crucial to her survival and potential recovery.
Sources told Local 4 that police officers allegedly saw Miss Beauchamp move and breathe after she was pronounced dead.
The force called the paramedics back, but the crew allegedly told officers they witnessed the side effects of the medication given to her.
Sources with knowledge of this investigation tell Local 4 that Southfield police allegedly saw her move and breathe and called the fire crews back, but fire crews claim those were the side effects of the medication given to her.
Sources told the TV station that Miss Beauchamp, who has a twin brother, was taken to James H Cole Funeral Home in Detroit about five hours after paramedics were called to the family home.
Employees at the funeral home noticed she was still breathing.
A spokesperson for the funeral home said in a statement: “After receiving clearance from the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office she was transported to our funeral home. Upon her arrival at the funeral home, our staff confirmed she was breathing and called EMS.”
Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department, told ABC 11: “They [the funeral staff] did the normal medical interventions and that’s when the funeral home told them that she was to be embalmed and all that. It kind of surprised us. We couldn’t believe it.”
He said Miss Beauchamp was breathing, and had a “decent” heart rate and “decent” blood-oxygen level.
A spokesperson for the Oakland County Chief Medical Examiner’s Office said the body wasn’t collected for a post-mortem due to information provided by police about her medical history and the fact that foul play was not suspected.