'I'm certainly not dead,' says man almost dropped off at morgue in May

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Wisconsin Man Declared Dead Wakes Up at Hospital Three Weeks Later

MILWAUKEE (WISN) — Family and friends gathered at a vigil Wednesday night to remember a woman shot and killed in Milwaukee on Saturday night -- a woman who was declared dead, but police heard her moaning under the tarp.

VIDEO: Man declared dead wakes up at hospital three weeks later

Paramedics returned to the scene to resuscitate 47-year-old Tonie Phillips, but she died later at the hospital.

"She was suffering, I'm sure, for 26 minutes. Negligence. I don't understand it. I'm praying for understanding," Phillips' sister, Teresea Khalil said.

The fire chief said Wednesday that first responders followed proper protocols and that the department will review them and make any necessary changes.

This is the second time in less than a year that the Milwaukee Fire Department has declared someone dead who was actually alive.

WISN 12 News reporter Christina Palladino spoke exclusively with that 46-year-old man, who was almost dropped off at the morgue.

"I don't think I'll ever be 100 percent, but I'm certainly not dead," Tom Sancomb said.

Sancomb shared his remarkable recovery since he was declared dead by the Milwaukee Fire Department and other first responders in May. (read original story)

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"I think about how close I came to ending up in a drawer somewhere in the morgue," Sancomb said.

Sancomb had gone into a myxedema coma. His body literally shut down.

According to the medical examiner's report, when firefighters arrived at his apartment they found him "cold to the touch and in rigor."

"They didn't try to revive me. It was just, 'He's dead. Call the morgue. Pack him up and take him out,'" Sancomb said.

Just before his body was taken out, Sancomb started to breathe and move on his own.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was unconscious for three weeks.

He now has serious nerve and balance issues, which are conditions he didn't have before.

"If they had gotten me to the hospital a few hours earlier would I balance better? Would my arm have been better?" Sancomb asked.

Sancomb said at least he's alive. He feels terrible for the family of Phillips, who couldn't be saved.

"I really hope that this is a wakeup call to the Milwaukee Fire Department to look at their procedures again," Sancomb said.

Sancomb said he has no ill will towards the Milwaukee Fire Department and doesn't plan on filing any lawsuits against them.

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