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Elderly Moscow Man Declared Dead Found Alive After 'Funeral' – Family

Grigory Vasilyev, 79, pictured with family members on May 21. Varvara Korchashkina / Facebook

An elderly Russian man who had been declared dead was found alive days after his funeral, his relatives have said.

“This is a story about human stupidity, medical negligence, incompetence and the complete collapse of the healthcare system,” his granddaughter wrote on Facebook. 

Grigory Vasilyev, 79, was placed in a Moscow region hospital with limb impairment and slurred speech, where he was diagnosed with a stroke on May 12, Varvara Korchashkina said late last month. 

The Solnechnogorsk district hospital informed Vasilyev’s family of his death five days later, Korchashkina said.

“When my mom, dad and brother saw the body, they all said it wasn’t him,” she said.

“The pathologist began to show tags and documents where it was written that it was Grigory Mikhailovich Vasilyev, and explained that a person changes very much after death, stroke and trepanation of the skull during autopsy.” 

The family buried who they thought was their grandfather on May 19. Korchashkina said that the three dozen friends, relatives and acquaintances at the funeral “were also surprised that he did not look like” the real Vasilyev.

The big reveal came just two days later, when the hospital called the buried man’s family to inform them that the real Vasilyev made a recovery and was ready to be discharged.

“If the person had no relatives, we would not have known that we had buried the wrong person and that our grandfather was alive,” Korchashkina said.

Citing hospital staff, Korchashkina said a nurse forgot to report that she had swapped places between Vasilyev and a similarly aged bedridden patient from the same ward.

“When the man died, he died on my grandfather’s bed,” she said.

Now Vasilyev’s family is seeking to restore his rights and documents to legally transfer him from the Solnechnogorsk hospital to a rehabilitation center.

On Monday, Korchashkina wrote that a court hearing has been scheduled for June 11.

“If everything goes well, a decision will be made to restore his rights with immediate enforcement.”

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