KEY POINTS

  • The baby was born prematurely at the General Hospital La Margarita in Mexico
  • Doctors declared him dead and the body of the child was kept in the morgue freezer
  • After almost six hours, the child was found crying and moving inside the freezer

A newborn baby was found alive in a morgue refrigerator after hospital staff declared the child dead following his birth. The baby spent nearly six hours in the freezer before funeral home employees rescued him, local media reports said. 

The baby was born prematurely Oct. 21 after just 23 weeks of gestation at the General Hospital La Margarita in the city of Puebla in Mexico. Doctors told the parents the child had died and his body was stored in the morgue refrigerator.

After the parents made the arrangements to retrieve the body to conduct the funeral, a staff member arrived at the morgue and noticed the child was crying and moving, according to Mexico News Daily.

“When we got to remove the body, we noticed that it began to cry and move; the social worker even got upset when we told her he was alive because she said ‘What’s wrong, don’t be liars’ and things like that, So we told the father to approach and he also saw that the baby was crying,” the owner of the funeral home reportedly said.

A video was released by local media showing the baby wrapped in a blue sheet in his father's arms.

“Here I am; I’m your daddy... hold on, my love,” he said, while filming the child with his cell phone. 

The General Hospital La Margarita, where the baby was born, issued a statement, saying: “The protocols for the extreme premature newborn were applied, but he did not present vital signs, so death was certified. He was transferred to the mortuary area."

“Upon delivering the body to the relative, the medical and funeral home staff realized that the baby was alive. He immediately received supportive medical care and was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit,” the statement continued. “The institutional authorities are in constant communication with the minor’s parents to offer them care and the necessary support, as well as timely information on his health status.”

The hospital said an investigation into the case will be carried out by their facility and another by the state’s Social Security Institute ethics committee.

Puebla governor Luis Miguel Barbosa also spoke to local media, saying a criminal complaint must be filed against those responsible for erroneously declaring the child dead.

"If doctors do not have the emotional tranquility to care for such a child and cannot differentiate between whether he is alive or dead, they should ask for a vacation or quit working," Barbosa reportedly said.

newborn Representational image. Photo: Getty Images/Christopher Furlong