Medical Miracle In Mississippi! (or, I am one cynical bastard)

The word “miracle” isn’t used lightly
Such conclusions are best left unsaid
There’s a time and a place for such words, though,
Like the man who came back from the dead!
They’d detected no pulse, and no breathing
So they’d fitted his toe with a tag
And they sent him away for embalming…
But his “corpse” started kicking the bag!
Now the doctors are using the “M” word
And I guess we can give them a break:
The word “miracle” isn’t used lightly…
But they’d rather use that, than “mistake”.

CNN: Dead Mississippi man begins breathing in embalming room, coroner says.

Even in the Bible Belt, coroners don’t use the word “miracle” lightly.
But Holmes County, Mississippi, Coroner Dexter Howard has no qualms using the word for the resurrection, as it were, of Walter Williams, who was declared dead Wednesday night.

Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.

What’s that?

Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

The coroner completed his paperwork, placed Williams in a body bag and transported him to the funeral home, he said. There, something strange happened: The body bag moved.
“We got him into the embalming room and we noticed his legs beginning to move, like kicking,” Howard said. “He also began to do a little breathing.”

I am very happy for this man, and for his family (who seem understandably overjoyed). And hey, isn’t it much nicer to be the beneficiary of a miracle than the victim of a mistake?


  1. Johnny Vector says

    Hah! We were just quoting Miracle Max about an hour ago. It’s how things go in the Vector house.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    I don’t know that I have gone a day in a decade without some Princess Bride quote or reference.

  3. stever says

    It happens. A lot less often than in centuries past, but it still happens. Decades ago, when I worked at Charity Hospital of New Orleans, a man woke up in the morgue, noticed the terrible pain in his big toe, and found the tag. He untied the wire and stormed out demanding to know why he’d been tagged “dead.” I never found out how he came to be mostly dead. Maybe he was just extremely drunk and the doctor who pronounced him was buried in new admissions from some disaster and didn’t take enough time.

  4. Cuttlefish says

    My dad flat-lined once, while on a heart monitor looking for why he occasionally would pass out. It was a very rare symptom, and they got really lucky that he was wired up when his ticker stopped.

    He wanted to have the EKG framed and hung on his office wall, to point to if anyone thought they might (intentionally, usually) be getting on his nerves. “You think you can bother me? You don’t ever register on the scale… I died once; you are nothing…”

  5. says

    @4 “To do so would be, dare I say it, inconceivable?”

    You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

    (somebody had to…)

  6. says

    I don’t know what’s so great about “The Princess Bride.” It’s just a bunch of famous quotes strung together . . .
    (Stolen from Isaac Asimov.)

  7. jaytheostrich says

    Now, you see, if he’d woken up AFTER the embalming process was finished, THERE would be some evidence of a ‘miracle’.. isn’t he lucky he didn’t!

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