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Woman, 81, returns to life after spending the night in a Russian morgue

A pensioner gave a hospital worker ‘the shock of her life’ when she came back from the dead after spending the night in a Russian morgue.

Zinaida Kononova, 81, was pronounced dead after surgery to remove an intestinal obstruction at the Gorshechensky Central District Hospital on August 14.

She was taken to the morgue at 1.10am, but almost seven hours later at 8am a female worker ‘got the shock of her life’ when she found the grandmother sprawled across the floor.    

Ms Kononova had fallen as she attempted to climb off the morgue table and escape.    

An ambulance driver overheard the commotion as he entered the building. 

He told how the ‘frightened’ morgue worker said: ‘Grandma, lie down, granny, be quiet.’   

The paramedic thought the morgue employee had gone ‘crazy’, but then he saw the pensioner grab the woman’s hand pleading for help.

Ms Kononova was covered in blankets and rushed to intensive care. 

The hospital called the grandmother’s niece Tatiana Kulikova and a senior doctor told her: ‘We have an unusual situation. She is alive!’

Ms Kulikova rushed to the hospital as a team of medics from regional capital Kursk were sent to treat Ms Kononova.

Ms Kulikova was delighted her aunt was alive but asked the doctors: ‘How could this happen?’

She was told Ms Kononova had been registered as clinically dead for 15 minutes, and was ‘literally pulled back from the other world’.

Ms Kulikova said: ‘She initially did not recognise me or recall that she had a surgery. But she talked about her old knee problem.’ 

A doctor and anaesthetist later confessed they had sent Ms Kononova to the morgue one hour and 20 minutes after she died, instead of two hours as rules dictate.

The back-to-life pensioner has been transferred to Kursk for further treatment.

Roman Kondratenko, chief doctor of Gorshechensky Central District Hospital, has been suspended pending an investigation.

Relatives of the pensioner are planning to sue the hospital, according to reports.

Acting hospital head Alexander Vlasov said: ‘For 30 minutes the patient underwent resuscitation measures.’

Ms Kononova did not respond, he said.

‘As a result, the resuscitation doctor established biological death, ascertained it,’ he added. ‘The anaesthetist is very worried. She feels very bad and we are afraid for her.

‘Every person makes mistakes. What will happen next with the career of this anaesthetist is still a question.’ 

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