Miracle postman 'died for 21 minutes' and came back to life - on his way to the morgue

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Joao Araujo came back to life 21 minutes after he stopped breathing in 2009 (Picture: SWNS)

A postman who temporarily ‘died’ for 21 minutes came back to life while being wheeled to the morgue.

Joao Araujo, 48, suffered a cardiac arrest at the wheel while taking his wife to work.

After six hours of trying to bring him back, doctors told his family he had died.

Nurses were transporting him from intensive care to the morgue when they noticed he was moving – and tests revealed Mr Araujo’s heart had spontaneously started beating again.

Doctors at the hospital were bemused at how the postman survived the attack – and how he recovered just three weeks later (Picture: SWNS)

Bewildered medics struggled to work out what happened to Mr Araujo – or how he was able to return to work after just three weeks.

His miraculous recovery was recorded as ‘spontaneous return of circulation’ on his medical notes.

The postman is now known as ‘Miracle Man’ on the cardiac ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

The father-of-one from Linden, Gloucester, said: ‘When I was at the hospital they had no explanation for my problem so people started calling me the ‘Miracle Man’.

‘They did not have the knowledge to know the reason behind what happened. Doctors can’t believe I am alive without any damage in my heart, brain or body.’

Mr Araujo was in his car and about to pull off the driveway with wife Grazielle when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

He was rushed to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital but after six hours of injections and failed attempts at CPR, doctors ruled there was nothing more they could do and pronounced him dead at 4pm on Saturday, April 18, 2009.

Doctors told his wife and children, who then phoned his parents in Portugal to tell them of the sad news.

But while his body was being moved from intensive care to the mortuary, nurses noticed movement.

He remained in a coma for three days but woke up and despite concerns by doctors that he would be left permanently brain damaged due to a 21-minute lack of oxygen he gradually improved.

Mr Araujo, a former lorry driver, has only suffered one heart related incident in the ten years since the attack (SWNS)

Doctors tried to work out the reason behind the miraculous recovery but with no prior history of heart problems and being in good shape for his age, they concluded that Mr Araujo’s brain had not sent the correct signal to his heart.

He was fitted with an Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which jolts the organ with an electric shock if it stops again.

The postman has only had one issue with his heart since the attack – which happened in 2009 but he decided to share it ten years on after previously telling  journalists he ‘didn’t want to be famous’.

Mr Araujo survived the attack with no damage to his heart, brain or body – and was dubbed the ‘Miracle Man’

Mr Araujo visits the cardiology ward every six months for a check-up – and is still known to staff as the ‘Miracle Man’.

He said: ‘Every time I go back, the nurses and the people who work there go ‘The Miracle Man is back!’

‘Even people I don’t know or recognise from different areas of the hospital say ‘It’s the Miracle Man! Everybody knows you, you are famous!’