Kerala photographer realises ‘dead man’ is alive while taking pics, saves his life

The photographer, who had come to take photos of the ‘deceased’ man for the inquest, noticed a low quivering sound coming from him and alerted police officials.
Kerala photographer realises ‘dead man’ is alive while taking pics, saves his life
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If not for Tomy Thomas, an Ernakulam-based photographer, Sivadasan, a man who was believed to be dead, could have possibly lost his life without timely medical aid.

It was on Sunday that Tomy was asked by officials at the Edathala police station to come to a house near Kalamassery in Ernakulam district to click photographs of a deceased person as part of preparing the inquest report. While Tomy was about to take photographs, something startling happened.

The photographer heard a low quivering sound. Realising that the sound was coming from the ‘deceased’ man, Tomy at once alerted police officials who were on the spot, expressing doubts that the man might be alive. And his doubts turned out to be well-founded. Sivadasan, the man who was believed to have passed away is now under treatment in the intensive care unit at the Jubilee Mission Hospital in Thrissur, reported Malayala Manorama first.

A native of Palakkad, Sivadasan had been living alone at Manalimukku near Kalamassery in a rented house. According to the police, it was an acquaintance who came to check on him who had alerted them that Sivadasan was found ‘dead’ in his house.

Talking to TNM, the 48-year-old photographer who has worked with the police on similar assignments for the past 25 years, talked about the bizarre experience he had on Sunday.

“When I entered the house, the man was found lying face down on the floor. Apparently, he had injured his head after he hit the corner of a bed, blood could be seen clotted on the head wound. Since the light in the room was not adequate to click photos, I leaned over the man to turn on the light switch which was on the wall right next to where he was lying. It was then that I heard a feeble voice,” Tomy says.

At first Tomy didn’t think much of the sound, but he was startled when a sudden thought struck him. He immediately bent close to the man’s body on the floor, waited for a couple of seconds before he again heard the sound, which Tomy says was like a low snoring sound.

“A shiver ran down my spine as it hit me that the man was actually alive,” says Tomy, recalling the moment vividly.

Tomy immediately informed the police officer who was in the house with him.

“The man was lying in the same position he was discovered in. When I heard the sound from him, I along with the police officer turned him and made him lie straight. It was then that we could feel a feeble heartbeat. An ambulance was immediately called to the spot and the man was shifted to a nearby hospital. From there he was taken for expert treatment to another hospital,” Tomy says.

Apparently, Sivadasan had fallen down due to high blood pressure and hit his head on the bed. He was also found to be in an inebriated condition.

Tomy, who has never experienced anything like this in his photography career with the police, is still in disbelief after the episode.

‘COVID-19 scare, nobody came to help’

According to the police, Sivadasan was discovered in his house by a person whom he works for.

“The man had come in search of Sivadasan as he was missing at work for the past three days. Since he didn’t open the door upon knocking, his colleague looked through an open window to see Sivadasan lying on the floor. He was the one who alerted the police saying that Sivadasan was lying dead in his house,” says an official from the Edathala police station.

As per the police, though neighbours rushed to the spot soon after being notified about it, they were scared to break open the door and go near Sivadasan due to fears of COVID-19. Kerala has reported multiple cases where people without travel history or known contact had tested positive for coronavirus posthumously. COVID-19 cases through local transmission have also been reported from Edathala region, where the incident happened.

It is learnt that though police officials came to the spot and broke open the door, they too did not go close to Sivadasan to check in detail.

“Since the police officials did not have protective gear, they had called for an ambulance. The photographer was called as part of the procedure. We hadn’t started preparing the inquest report as stated by some media outlets. Before the inquest report was prepared, the photographer and a police officer who was with him realised that the man could be alive. The person was at once shifted to a hospital,” says a police official.

According to officials at Jubilee Mission Hospital, Sivadasan is still under treatment in the neuro intensive care unit.

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