Woman Rushed To Hospital After Being Declared Dead

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A Fort Smith woman pronounced dead was rushed to the hospital after the deputy coroner discovered she was still breathing.

Fort Smith Police say Bonnie Bolen, 87, of Fort Smith, was found slumped over on her couch by a neighbor Thursday (Nov. 14) morning. When Fort Smith EMS and Fire arrived on scene at 10:15, a paramedic with the EMS crew pronounced Bolen dead and called the Sebastian County Coroner’s Office, according to the police report.

"She started breathing and it shocked everybody," said her son, Johnny Bolen.

When the deputy coroner got on scene about half an hour later to examine the body, the deputy coroner discovered the woman was still breathing, according to the Coroner's Office. The woman was then immediately rushed the woman to Sparks Hospital in critical condition, according to the police report.

Bolen's neighbor, Maria Ibarra called 911. Ibarra doesn't speak English, so a translator was brought in.

"I came by to visit and she just collapsed," said the translator. "I'm not sure if she`s dead or what is happening."

"How is she now? Is she still breathing?" said the dispatcher.

"I don`t know. I don`t want to get too close," said the translator.

Tim Hearn, Executive Director of Fort Smith EMS said Bolen died Friday (Nov. 15) at Sparks Regional Medical Center.

"If we find any issues we need to address with paramedics,  we  will address them immediately," said Hearn.

Hearn said the investigation is ongoing. Family of Bolen said paramedics did all they could.

"I saw my mom, I thought she was gone," said Johnny Bolen. "The way she looked, I think that it wouldn't have made a difference."

Bonnie Bolen was buried in Van Buren Monday (Nov.18) morning.