Big Apple Tale Of Life And Death

paramedic EMT ambulance AP

A 77-year-old Brooklyn woman who was mistakenly declared dead over the weekend - and who startled a medical examiner's official when she awoke while being placed in a body bag -has now, in fact, died.

A hospital spokeswoman in New York says Frances Foster died early Monday.

She was found unconscious on her bathroom floor on Saturday, and paramedics declared her dead.

It turned out she was still alive, but had suffered a stroke. She moved and opened her eyes as she was being put into a body bag.

Foster was then hospitalized in critical condition.

The two paramedics who were called to her home on Saturday have been placed on desk duty pending an investigation.

"I called everyone and had to tell them my mother was dead, then only to call back and say she's alive," said daughter Kim Foster Littlejohn. "She could have been at the hospital getting taken care of. What a costly mistake."

She said a medical examiner's official didn't discover Foster was alive until she was being put into the bag. "He told me ... she suddenly moved and opened her eyes and he jumped back, startled," she said.

Littlejohn said she hadn't heard from her mother in about 10 days so she called authorities to open her apartment door.

Foster, a retired nurse, had no specific health problems but had been in declining health after losing her two sons to illness in less than two years, Littlejohn said.


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