A woman said that her husband was still alive in a New York hospital when doctors declared him dead.
“Can you imagine what it must have been like for him? To listen to the people I should be able to trust, tell him, try to convince me and my family that he’s dead, and he’s laying there alive?” Tammy Cleveland told CBS.
Her husband Michael Cleveland, 46, went into cardiac arrest one night in 2014 when the situation happened.
Medics on the scene performed CPR and shocked Cleveland’s heart, then rushed him to nearby DeGraff Memorial Hospital in the Buffalo area.
But less than an hour after arrival at the hospital, ER doctor Gregory Perry declared him dead.
Tammy Cleveland, though, said that Michael was still alive when the declaration happened.
She said her husband spent several hours displaying signs he was still alive, including bringing his legs up to the gurney and breathing.
Despite her insistence that her husband was still alive, Tammy Cleveland said that Dr. Perry refused to perform a new physical exam either time he entered the room after the death declaration.
She said that Perry made a bizarre claim when she told him that her husband was still moving.
“He said that Michael is only 46 years old. He said that he’s got a lot of life… to expel out of his body,” Tammy said.
According to a deposition, though, when a coroner came to get the body, he told nurses to fetch Dr. Perry because he immediately noticed the body moving.
“Dead people don’t move,” the coroner said in the deposition, adding, “‘He needs to go in there and check his pulse.'”
It was 2 hours and 40 minutes after the initial death declaration when Dr. Perry found a pulse and had him rushed to another hospital for doctors to perform a procedure to open a blocked artery.
It was too late, though, and Michael Cleveland died.
The case is set to go to trial in April.
However, a judge last week threw a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress out, reducing the potential financial liability for the hospital and doctor, reported The Buffalo News.
State Supreme Court Justice Frank Caruso said that the trial will instead focus on the claims of medical malpractice and negligent infliction of emotional distress.