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Mom of Detroit woman, 20, wrongly declared dead by paramedics is ‘devastated’ by daughter’s ordeal

The mother of a 20-year-old Michigan woman with special needs says she’s ‘devastated’ by the ordeal her daughter went through after she was declared dead Sunday, only for funeral home staffers to find the woman with her eyes open and breathing later that day.   

‘I’m devastated that my daughter is going through what she’s going through,’ 20-year-old Timesha Beauchamp’s mother told Click on Detroit Monday morning. 

‘My family, her twin brother, her older brother – it’s just, I don’t even have words. I haven’t slept all night. I just don’t know what to do. My heart is so heavy.’ 

Beauchamp, of Southfield, Michigan, is now on a ventilator at a Detroit hospital, clinging to life, after a horror movie-like incident that began at about 7.30am Sunday, according to her family’s lawyer.  

Her family called 911 after finding Beauchamp – who suffered from unspecified medical issues – unresponsive at her home. Southfield Fire Department paramedics performed CPR on her, before she was declared dead. 

Because there were no signs of foul play, her body was released to her family so they could make funeral preparations. Beauchamp was picked up and taken to James H Cole Home for Funerals in Detroit at about noon. 

That was when funeral home staffers discovered she was still alive and breathing.   

Beauchamp’s mother, who has not been named, told the news station that when the paramedics were at her home Sunday morning, ‘They said, “Ma’am, she’s gone.” I told them, “Are you absolutely, 100 per cent sure that she’s gone?” They said, “Yes, ma’am, she’s gone.”‘

A few hours later, however, she said that someone from the funeral home called her with news that ‘devastated’ her life. 

Beauchamp’s mother said the funeral home staffer told her: ‘Ma’am, your daughter is on her way to Sinai Grace Hospital. She is breathing. She is alive.’ 

[The statement] ‘devastated my life,’ Beauchamp’s mother said, adding she responded, ‘What do you mean? What do you mean she’s breathing?’

The funeral home staffer said, ‘Ma’am, she’s in the hospital,’ Beauchamp’s mother recalled.  

Beauchamp’s mother said Monday that she isn’t sure if her daughter will be able to recover and survive from the ordeal she suffered. She wants answers about what happened, as well. 

According to a statement from Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee, the first responders performed CPR and other ‘life reviving methods’ for 30 minutes. 

‘Given medical readings and the condition of the patient, it was determined at that time that she did not have signs of life,’ the statement read. 

ClickOnDetroit reported that unnamed sources with knowledge of the case claimed that Southfield police officers observed the patient move and breathe, and summoned the EMTs back, but the paramedics allegedly claimed those were just side effects of the medication given to her. 

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger told WXYZ that Beauchamp’s godmother, who is a registered nurse, told the medics that she detected a pulse in her.  

Oakland County spokesperson William Mullan told over the phone that after determining that the woman has died, the EMTs followed standard operating procedure and contacted an emergency room physician at an area hospital, who reviewed the patient’s medical data and declared her deceased.

The Southfield Police Department then called the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office, saying that an official death declaration has been made for the patient and there was no suspicion of foul play. 

Based on the information from the police and the ER doctor, a forensic pathologist released the body, which was still at home, directly to her family to make funeral arrangements. 

‘The Southfield Fire and Police Departments followed all appropriate city, county and state protocols and procedures in this case,’ an updated statement from the fire department read. ‘The City of Southfield is currently conducting a thorough internal investigation in addition to the Oakland County Medical Control Authority (OCMCA) which will be reporting their findings to the State of Michigan Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness (BETP).’ 

Funeral home employees ‘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,’ Fieger told WXYZ.  

The management of the mortuary confirmed the facts of the case in a statement to, saying that staff summoned Detroit Fire Department paramedics, who arrived and transported Beauchamp to a hospital.

‘We couldn’t believe it,’ said Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department, who added that her heart rate was 80.   

‘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,’ Fieger said, adding that when mortuary workers unzipped the body bag, they saw Beauchamp alive and with her eyes open. 

The attorney, who previously defended the notorious Dr Jack Kevorkian during his euthanasia trial, speculated that the hour-and-a-half delay in Beauchamp’s care caused by her trip to the funeral home could prove critical to her chances for a recovery. on Monday afternoon reached out to Fieger seeking additional comment on the case.  

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