Doctors are calling Val Thomas a medical miracle. They said they can’t explain how she is alive. They said Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said. “Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in,” said son Jim Thomas.
If this is true, it’s very exciting. Rigor mortis and decay have always been the only two ways to conclusively determine if a person is dead or not. But if a person can survive past rigor mortis, that suggests that “death” is not as binary as we may have thought.