In keeping with the tales of being buried alive and the disturbing legacy of Edgar Alan Poe and his ilk, we have a real life tale of a man from Malaysia whom authorities pronounced dead by authorities and two hours later began breathing again!

This is the first case of its kind in Malaysia and Mr. Ng Swee Hock, aged 65, remains unconscious and on a ventilator in the critical care unit at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.

Doctors pronounced him dead shortly after he was admitted to the hospital after performing CPR on him for more than 45 minutes. Some 21/2 hours later, he began breathing on his own in what is known as the rare  “Lazarus Phenomenon.” This unusual occurrence involves a spontaneous return of circulation after attempts at resuscitation fail.

This syndrome has reported only 39 cases in the entire world and its roots are not understood. It is believed that pressure builds in the chest after CPR and the relaxation of that pressure may allow the heart to expand, which in turn triggers the heart’s electrical impulses. However plausible, this remains an unproved theory. High does of adrenaline may also spark the unexpected return to life.

Perhaps Edgar Alan Poe’s vivid and bizarre imagination about premature burial weren’t so far out after all.

Check out this video from one of Poe’s excerpts about premature burial.




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry ( feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.