Family gobsmacked to find relative “still alive” on day of funeral

It was one of those terrible mix-ups that happen in a country where so many people share similar names.

The family of a hospital patient who had reportedly died, got busy with funeral arrangements, picked out a coffin, booked the service, informed all and sundry and then made for the mortuary with the deceased’s ‘funeral garb’.

The trouble was when they got there, they were told their loved one was actually still alive.

Someone else’s relative had died, not theirs.

The drama played out this week, in Lisbon, thanks to a blunder by the Hospital dos Capuchos, reports Correio da Manhã.

The hospital needless to say has not made any kind of statement – and so far, no one is identifying the people involved.

Only the funeral agency is talking, revealing that on top of everything else, a hole in the cemetery graveyard had already been dug.

“Nothing like this has ever happened to us before”, Maria José, described as the proprietor of the Serrana funeral agency in Vila Viçosa, told the paper.

She confirmed that the error may have been caused by a “similarity in the names” of the patients whose identities were confused.

For now, and very possibly henceforth, little else is being said.

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