A newborn baby declared dead by doctors in northern Argentina was found alive in a morgue 12 hours later by the infant's mother, who insisted on opening the child's coffin to say goodbye.
Analia Bouter said she was sedated at the time her daughter was born three months premature at Perrando de Resistenccia Hospital in Chaco last Tuesday morning and was told by doctors that the child was stillborn.
We went to the morgue, and they showed us the casket nailed closed. My husband managed to open the drawer, where we found her wrapped in a white sheet and saw her tiny hand touch her face.
- Analia Bouter, Infant's Mother
When Bouter and her husband visited the hospital morgue later that day, they had to pry open the baby's casket to say farewell -- and they spotted their tiny daughter breathing and stretching, DiarioChaco.com reported.
Bouter said, "We went to the morgue, and they showed us the casket nailed closed. My husband managed to open the drawer, where we found her wrapped in a white sheet and saw her tiny hand touch her face."
The shocked mother said she heard her baby cry, and "I fell to my knees."
"He used a lever and opened the coffin. Suddenly, I heard a whine. (The baby) was covered (and there was a lot of) frost," the mother said.
Bouter likened the baby to a "bottle of ice" after being kept in the refrigerated morgue for 12 hours. The infant remained in the hospital Wednesday but was described as being in good health.
Bouter said she thought she was hallucinating when her daughter moved, and doctors have told her that "nobody knows how she could have survived 12 hours in a refrigerated room," according to her interview with Todo Noticias television.
The couple originally intended to call their fifth child Liliana Abigail but have since changed her name to Luz Milagros, which means "Miracle Light."
"This is more of a miracle. In my family we are believers, and now our faith in God is much bigger, "the girl's father, Fabian Veron, 31, said.
The news hit hard for the couple already going through tough times. The husband, Fabian Veron, 31, had lost his job at a maintenance company, which was the only household income for their four other boys, according to Clarin, an Argentinean newspaper.
Rafael Sabatinelli, the deputy health secretary of Chaco Province, described the situation as "unfortunate" and confirmed that the medical staff involved were suspended while authorities investigated the incident.
"Each member of the personnel who were involved in the matter has responsibilities. So, they will have to pay accordingly for this," said Sabatinelli in remarks cited by Diario Norte newspaper on its Web site.
"We're awaiting the results of the corresponding reports so that the matter may be clarified," he added.
Based on reporting by EFE and Newscore.