By now most people have noticed in passing the “odd” medical story about the woman who was dead for seventeen hours and then “came back,” apparently none the worse for wear. Most people I’ve discussed this with fall into one of three camps:
- those who aren’t familiar with the details, and assume this was just another of those “patient’s heart stopped for a few minutes” stories.
- believers, who are in full-throated “Halleluia! A miracle from the Lord!” mode.
- rational materialists/secularists like myself who uncomfortably mumble something about “the mysteries of the human body” and then don’t want to think about it any more.
They said Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said.
"Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in," said son Jim Thomas.
However, Thomas was kept on a ventilator a little while longer as an organ donor issue was discussed. Ten minutes later the woman woke up and started talking. "She (nurse) said, 'I'm so sorry Mrs. Thomas.' And mom said, 'That's OK honey. That's OK," Jim Thomas said.