A 78-year-old man from Lexington, Miss., was pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night at his home. He was later found alive hours later inside a body bag on Thursday morning. Walter Williams is now alive and kicking — an act seen as a “miracle” by Holmes County Coroner Dexter Howard. Williams was rushed from Porter and Sons Funeral Home to a hospital after the manager, Byron Porter, witnessed the man kicking to get out the zipped body bag.
“He was not dead. Long story short,” Porter told WAPT. The elderly man “woke up from the dead” just moments before funeral home workers were getting ready to embalm him. However, Porter maintains, the funeral home did not plan to proceed with any embalming once they saw Williams was alive. This is the first time he’s ever seen anything like it, leaving Porter and Williams’ family members surprised and grateful.
“'I stood there and watched them put him in a body bag and zip it up,” said Williams’ nephew, Eddie Hester, to WAPT. It was not until Hester got a phone call from his cousin that he knew his uncle would be “happy to be alive.” “I don't know how long he's going to be here, but I know he's back right now and that's all that matters,” he said.
The coroner, although baffled by the series of events in Williams’ case, believes the man’s pacemaker is to blame, NPR reported. The Mississippi man’s pacemaker is thought to have stopped for a brief period, and then started up again. The small device — usually placed in the chest or abdomen — helps control abnormal heart rhythms by using electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Electrical devices or devices with strong magnetic fields from cell phones to microwave ovens, says the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, can disrupt the electrical signaling of the pacemaker and stop it from working properly. Patients may not be able to tell whether their device has been affected.
Williams has been stabilized at the hospital. His family describes him as a “fighter” and is happy to see him alive and kicking, back from the “dead.” The 78-year-old man’s case is truly a miracle in Mississippi.