The grief of losing a loved one can knock you off kilter, literally and figuratively, especially if that person was young and barely started living their life. So when 28-year-old Hamdi Hafez al-Nubi was pronounced dead after suffering a heart attack while he was at work, his family was clearly shocked and overwhelmed with heartbrokenness. I mean, who expects a waiter in his prime to make that final transition so suddenly? Understandably dismayed and stricken, they took him home to his village in southern Egypt on Friday to prepare him for his funeral.
Islamic customs necessitate the washing of a body as part of the preparation for burial, so his relatives were doing just that when the doctor asked to sign the death certificate stepped over to inspect his corpse—and noticed that he was warm. Egypt is a pretty balmy place and everything, but there’s no mistaking the effects of the weather outside with good ol’ natural body temps. Upon further investigation, the doc discovered, lo and behold, that Hamdi was still alive! Pack up your funeral kit, family. Your boy is back home to stay!
With a little help from the doc—and thank goodness she stopped by, no?—Hamdi was up and at ‘em and celebrating his resurrection with his loved ones. That gathering went from sobbing sad to cheering glad in minutes. His mama was so shocked by the turn of events that she fainted, as I’m sure most mothers would under that kind of emotional rollercoaster riding, but bounced back to join the party and welcome home her vibrant son.
This isn’t the first time someone has come back from the assumed-to-be-dead. Last year, Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, a 49-year-old Russian woman, woke up as mourners were praying and weeping over her in a casket and was so shocked by the goings-on, she had a heart attack and died. For real. Yikes.
A few months ago in China, a 95-year-old woman was presumed dead after falling and hitting her head in her home. As is custom, her body was laid in a casket for family and friends to stop by and pay their respects. Six days later, she got tired of that laying prostrate business and got up and cooked herself something to eat. Surprise! Not dead at all. She fooled those suckers, 95 years old and all. I’m sure she wanted folks not to rush her along, thank them very much.
The moral of the story is… I’m not sure what the moral of the story is, actually. But this Lazarus effect isn’t that fabled after all, apparently. Scary, yes. Strange, yes. Awkward, I’m sure. But not the stuff of legends as much as we thought it was. Anyway, welcome home Mr. al-Nubi! I’m glad you never left.
If you had the power to bring one person back to life, who would it be?
Image via HerryLawford/Flickr