A Wrong Diagnosis: Six Sentence Stories

The patient was not for resuscitation so the nurses watched as her heart rate slowed, her breathing became shallow and almost imperceptible and her skin became cool to the touch. It came as no surprise when all the alarms sounded to herald death and a physical examination confirmed this. Her daughter was contacted and gently told, “your mother has just passed away.”  

A half hour later after the body had been washed and prepared for the daughter’s last visit a moan came from behind the curtains, startling the staff who raced into the cubicle to see the woman attempting to sit up.

Embarrassed, the nurse met the daughter at the door of the ward and said, “I’m glad to say we got it wrong. Your mother didn’t die she was in a state of suspended animation.”


In response to Zoe’s six sentence prompt suspend.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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23 Responses to A Wrong Diagnosis: Six Sentence Stories

  1. What a story! Hats off, Irene. Wish you a Happy New Year. My invitation is still open.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! It’s rare, but it does happen. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Surprise! Nice one Irene

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a shock to the daughter, nearly as great as that to the mother…(doesn’t bear to think about cases where the presumed dead does not manage to signal their status as living (suspended or otherwise) as opposed to dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reena Saxena says:

    We had a hospital’s licence cancelled in Delhi, as they wrongly certified a child dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kristi says:

    What a surprise for all involved!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A happy ending for those in animated suspense!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well that was pleasantly unexpected. Well told story, Irene!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. calmkate says:

    lol many peoples dread … had a young 4 yo who made every person in the hospice come and talk to Mummy when he was told she died. All the staff, patients and guests and you can imagine it was very confronting many to talk to a dead woman but they couldn’t refuse the child. I asked why … he said he wanted to be sure Mummy was dead before she was burnt, and she wouldn’t be rude to that many people.

    Liked by 1 person

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