SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – An attorney representing the family of a Southfield woman who was declared dead and sent to a funeral home where she was found to still be alive said a family member told medics she could still see the woman breathing.
Timesha Beauchamp, 20, was pronounced dead Sunday morning after paramedics with the Southfield Fire Department said she went into cardiac arrest and was showing no signs of life.
She had been living with cerebral palsy her entire life, and on Sunday morning, her mother, Erica Lattimore, noticed her daughter was having great difficulty breathing, so she called authorities.
Beauchamp was officially declared dead by an emergency department physician who received medical information from the Southfield Fire Department at the scene, officials said.
“Somebody pronounced my child dead and she’s not even dead,” Lattimore said. “She’s in the hospital.”
Lattimore said she was told Beauchamp had died only to find out hours later from the Cole Funeral Home in Detroit that her daughter was still alive in a body bag.
“They said, ‘Ma’am, your daughter is on her way to Sinai Grace Hospital. She is breathing. She is alive,’” she said. “This devastated my life. Then she just told me, ‘No, ma’am, your daughter is breathing.’ I said, ‘What do you mean? What do you mean she’s breathing?’ She said, ‘Ma’am, she’s in the hospital.’”
Lattimore hired Attorney Geoffrey Fieger to push for answers.
“Maybe (she) was ill to the point where she needed medical treatment, needed transportation to a hospital, but not transportation to a funeral home,” Fieger said.
Southfield firefighters are undergoing an internal investigation along with the Oakland County Medical Control Authority. They’re trying to find out why medics found no signs of life when Beauchamp was still alive.
Sources told the Local 4 Defenders that investigators are asking if the medics did exactly what they said they did, and whether the heart monitor had a catastrophic failure.
Fieger said Beauchamp’s Godmother, a nurse, alerted medics and police officers that she could see Beauchamp breathing.
“She told the paramedics, and the paramedics told her that the movements were involuntary and were the results of the medication,” Fieger said.
Beauchamp is in critical condition, and her mother asked the community for prayers.