10/07/2013 14:04 BST | Updated 10/07/2013 14:18 BST

'Dead' Woman, Colleen Burns, Wakes Up Just As Doctors Are About To Remove Her Organs

A woman declared dead by doctors woke up on the operating table to see surgeons about to harvest her organs.

Colleen Burns, 41, had been admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, New York State following a drugs overdose.

Despite apparently passing a reflex test and exhibiting flared nostrils consistent with breathing, a nurse administered a sedative and she was wheeled to the operating theatre.

The incident happened in 2009 but details have only come to light after an investigation by the The Post-Standard.

Burns survived the ordeal but unfortunately took her own life just over a year later.

Her mother said: "She was so depressed that it really didn't make any difference to her."

Her family did not press charges but the hospital was fined $6,000 by the state Health Department.