A chilling story has recently come from Nigeria of a woman who had been declared dead nine days before rising up again as though nothing had ever happened. The woman, a 62 year old mother of three returned unexpectedly surprising her children who had just arrived to bury her. And the most chilling part is the burial that almost happened just before that.
The thought of being buried alive is a disturbing prospect to anyone who has ever given it thought. The confining hazards of the grave were so chilling that a movement in the 19th century even had people designing elaborate systems to ensure no one was prematurely laid to rest. As medical technology improved with time, the possibility of being declared dead prematurely declined significantly. But it’s still possible in areas where embalming is not employed. But that was only one of the things that saved the life of the woman in question: Mama Victoria Gbemisola Babatunde.
It all started at the supposed end of her life as she was declared dead. Under normal circumstances, she would have been given a funeral and then a prompt burial within the next couple of days. Instead a nationwide strike on removing fuel subsidies made it impossible to bury her as infrastructure ground to a halt. Finally her children, hoping to break through the red tape in the name of their mother’s dignity gathered her up and were shocked when she woke up.
It’s unclear how the woman could have stayed alive in her state of apparent death. Included in the ailments she risked during those twelve days are dehydration, exposure, and any conventional illnesses she could have suffered from. Instead, the accounts suggest she avoided them all and returned to life against all odds.
There have been a few extreme medical cases where patients who were thought to be dead returned to life afterward. These patients often describe feeling as though they have left their bodies and hovered about the room looking down on themselves as doctors attempt to bring them back. Some out of body experiencers even describe going into the afterlife where they see relatives and others who tell them they must return to Earth. The phenomenon has happened widely enough that it has even nestled itself in the chronicles of literature dating back all the way to Shakespeare.
Legends, such as that of the fabled Marjorie McCall from Lurgan Ireland have always had a warning that the grave is not always the final destination – at least not the first time for some. In the legend, Marjorie was buried and then exhumed by grave robbers who wanted to steal a solid gold ring from her finger. When they unburied her, however, she sat upright and screamed at them sending them scattering in fright.
Fortunately, there was no grave robbing going on in this most recent account, only a trio of bereaved children and their mother who then got another chance.