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Milwaukee man pronounced dead, but then starts moving

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — A man pronounced dead was on his way to the morgue, but then he moved! A Milwaukee man continues to recover after being pronounced dead earlier this week.

Milwaukee police say around 11:20 p.m. Tuesday night, May 19th, they were called to the Tower Apartments near 11th and Wells for a welfare check. Here they find what police describe as a 46-year-old man lying face down unresponsive in a bedroom.

This man is identified as Thomas Sandcomb, and a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's report indicates that just after midnight, responding officers found him 'cold to the touch and in rigor.'

The police then called the Milwaukee Fire Department and when fire personnel arrived, 'no lividity' was noted, and he appeared very pale. Death was pronounced.

But roughly 45 minutes later, as transporters arrived at the scene, Sancomb exhibited 'spontaneous respirations and began moving his left arm and right leg -- the patient had a heart rate.'

Sancomb was then taken to Saint Mary's Hospital.

Sancomb's brother says Thomas is getting better every day. And while FOX6 News cannot confirm anything as far as the cause of complications is concerned, there are documented medical conditions which can slow metabolism to the point that vital signs may be undetectable.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Milwaukee Fire Department says an internal investigation is being conducted. The results of which should be available next week.


  • Sammich Olioso

    What is the exact criteria needed for a medical professional to pronounce someone dead? I mean what if he arrived at the M.E’s office and the M.E. started an autopsy and the guy said “hey what the F*** are you doing?” :/

  • Justin W

    The pronunciation was done by “fire personnel” who usually have EMS or paramedic training, not a medical physician.

  • Mike

    He was not “pronounced dead”. Reports were made that said indications were he was dead. That was not an official statement.

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