3-week-old baby coughs to life just before burial after doctors declared him dead

He coughed and started crying just minutes before he was buried at his family’s home

His parents quickly called off the burial ceremony and fed him on milk, then took him to hospital. Sadly, however, the baby died 24 hours later, and now the question tormenting the parents is whether their little bundle of joy could have been saved.

Overnight

Ms Margaret Ahoi says she took her baby, Joseph Ngugi, to Ngewa Health Centre after she suspected he was unwell as he had not suckled overnight.

Nurses at Ngewa referred her to Kiambu Level Five Hospital where Baby Ngugi was booked for admission and moved a paediatric ward, where he was put on oxygen and drip medication.

The following day at around 9.30am, three doctors informed Ms Ahoi that her son had died. “Three different doctors separately told me that my baby had passed on. I was in doubt and I kept asking if they were sure about it and they insisted that they had medically confirmed that the baby was no more,” she said.

Mortuary

Ms Ahoi watched as nurses undressed the baby and called a mortuary attendant to collect the body, but upon arrival the mortician declined to collect it because the oxygen machine was still fixed on the tiny boy lying desolately in the hospital bed, cold and tranquil.

“We handled the baby as a corpse,” said Ms Ahoi. “We, after all, had been informed that he was dead, but when we arrived at home, he coughed and even cried, throwing all of us into confusion.

When we uncovered him, we realised that fresh blood was oozing from the point a drip line had been injected on his hand and he had also defecated. Were it not for a delay on the road home, we would have buried him alive.”

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