Imagine finding yourself in a circumstance that you are wrapped and suffocating in plastic. Well, that was the worst nightmare experienced by poor Neysi Perez, 16 who woke up to find that she is inside a coffin and already buried. She was found with bruises on her fingers and scratches on her forehead suggesting she had desperately tried to get out of the casket but didn't succeed in accomplishing this. She never really had the opportunity to experience the second chance that she had.

 Image above: Neysi Perez, buried alive

What actually happened to Neysi Perez that fateful night?
The married teenager who was by then 3 months pregnant was said to have gone to the toilet outside her home at La Entrada, western Honduras. She was reported to have fallen unconscious in what was believed to be an apparent panic attack after she heard a burst of gunfire. But, as she was seen foaming from her mouth, her religious parents called for the local priest for an exorcism as they had believed she was possessed by an evil spirit. The relatives narrated how the priest tried to exorcise her but as she became lifeless, they then rushed her to a hospital where she was pronounced dead 3 hours later.

Her grieving husband, Rudy Gonzales narrates…
She was then buried in her wedding dress. A day after the burial, her husband, Rudy Gonzales visited her grave where she was buried, the La Entrada General Cemetery. He said, “I was heartbroken because my sweetheart was taken so suddenly from me. I wanted to be near her. As I put my hand on the grave, I could hear noises inside. First, I heard banging, and then I heard her voice. She was screaming for help. It had already been a day since we buried her. I couldn’t believe it. I was ecstatic, full of hope.”

The cemetery worker Jesus Villanueva heard some sounds but chose to ignore it…
From this day on, cemetery worker, Jesus will never look at screaming sounds lightly even if the sounds are heard at the middle of the night. Jesus Villanueva said, “I convinced myself that the screams were coming from somewhere else. I never imagined that there was someone alive there. That afternoon, the girl’s husband came begging me to get her out because she was still alive. He was hysterical. The family were soon here and started breaking through the tomb, shouting her name.”

 Image above: Family members opening the coffin

The family members tried to revive her but it was too late…
Ms. Perez was taken to the nearest hospital at San Pedro Sula still in her coffin. The medics tried to revive her though all the tests that they carried out on her proved that she was clinically dead. As Dr. Claudia Lopez narrated, “the whole family rushed in, almost breaking the door down, carrying the girl in the casket”. She told them to take her out from the casket and put her on bed. “Everybody was claiming she was alive, so I went through all the necessary procedures. We evaluated and tried everything but the girl was already dead. They put her back in the coffin and took her away again, back to the cemetery.”

Her family members and relatives lament:
Carolina Perez, her cousin said that,” Once we taken her out of the tomb, I put my hand on her body. She was still warm and I felt a faint heartbeat. She had scratches on her forehead and bruises on her fingers. It looked like she had desperately tried to get out of the casket and hurt herself.”

Maria Gutierrez, Neysi’s mother firmly believes that her daughter was buried alive and blames medics for being too quick to sign her death certificate. The doctors declared her dead but everybody else around me kept telling me that she wasn’t. She didn’t look like she had died. Even after a day in the tomb, the colour of her body was normal, her corpse didn’t smell, she just looked like she was in a deep sleep. There were no signs of rigor mortis, her body was still flexible, it was impossible that she had been dead for so many hours. We were all so happy. I thought I was going to get my daughter back

What the doctors believe:
Doctors believe that Ms. Perez had suffered a severe panic attack which could have temporarily stopped her heart activity. A second hypothesis is that the teenager had a cataplexy attack which is an abrupt temporary loss of voluntary muscle function typically triggered by strong emotional stimulus such as stress or fear during which the victim maintains full consciousness awareness. She may then have died from lack of oxygen after waking up in the closed coffin.

Image aboveNeysi Perez
What is the importance of hypothesis when a life is already lost? No matter what the hypothesis is, when a life is already gone, it is just too late to matter. It is easy to come up with hypothesis when it doesn’t matter anymore. I’d rather if they know this hypothesis by heart and know what to do when it ought to be done which mean preventing a life from being lost in vain. A child never got to see the world because the fetus was barely 3 months old. A potential father never got the opportunity to build a life with his beloved wife because she left too soon in a way that will haunt his feelings for a very long time until he gets over it. If the family members did not think much of evil spirits, and rushed her to the hospital immediately, perhaps the Neysi Perez would still be alive today. Anyway, it is too late for now. Rest in peace, Neysi Perez.

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