Elderly woman, 91, who woke up in freezing morgue after 11 hours, returned safely to family

Police are investigating whether there was any injustice or wrongdoing

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The Independent Online

An elderly woman woke up in a morgue while spending at least 11 hours in a freezer after she was officially declared dead and was prepared to be buried tomorrow.

Ninety-one-year-old Janina Kolkiewicz, was confirmed to have been dead by a family doctor before she was taken to a morgue, where staff noticed the body bag she was covered in was twitching from movement.

The woman, from Ostrow Lubelski in eastern Poland, has since been in the care of her family while police launched an investigation today into the chilling mystery.

Her niece Bogumila Kolkiewicz, 54, said: "We were all terribly upset [about her death] and were discussing what to do when at about midnight there was a knock at the door.

"When I opened it there was a man from the morgue who told me that there had been a mistake and that my aunt was actually alive.

"I nearly fainted."


The niece discovered the woman's body on 6 November at home without a pulse or signs of breathing before the doctor was called and a death certificate was written out.

"I was sure she was dead," Dr Wieslawa Czyz told the television channel TVP.

"I'm stunned, I don't understand what happened. Her heart had stopped beating, she was no longer breathing," Dr Czyz added.

Her family and doctor said they are in shock about her recovery, according to the website of the Polish newspaper, Dziennik Wschodni, and the death certificate has since been declared as invalid.

Apart from complaining of feeling cold, Ms Kolkiewicz - who has late-stage dementia - told her relatives she felt "normal, fine" after returning home although she cannot remember what happened and asked for a hot cup of tea before eating some pancakes.