London, May 27 : A 59-year-old American woman has stunned doctors and her family by apparently coming back from the dead.
Velma Thomas had been clinically brain dead for 17 hours after she had a heart attack at her West Virginia home in the US.
She was placed on life support at the local Charleston Area Medical Centre while doctors battled to bring her back to life.
After her heart stopped three times and she had no detectable brain activity doctors believed she would not survive, and thus told family members and friends to begin planning a funeral.
"There were really no signs she had neurological functions," the Telegraph quoted Kevin Eggleston, an internal medicine specialist, as telling ABC News.
But 10 minutes after her life support was turned off, while nurses were removing the tubing from the ventilator, Velma moved her arm, coughed and asked for her son, Tim Thomas.
A shocked Dr. Eggleston said that the chances of surviving three such long periods without a heart rate were less than 10 percent.
"It's a miracle. The odds were certainly against her," he said.