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The unnamed woman, a long-time anorexia sufferer, was found collapsed by her 18-year-old daughter after an apparent heart-attack.
Paramedics rushed to her home in Paris’s 13th arrondissement but were unable to revive the 49-year-old.
But police who came to write a report noticed movement in her stomach.
Le Parisien reports that the ambulance team had declared her dead at 18:10 (16:10 GMT) and signed her death certificate.
But the two police officers – who arrived an hour later to write a report into the cause of death – noticed the movement when they lifted the blanket covering the body.
When an officer checked her jugular vein, they found her heart was still beating.
While one shocked officer held her hand and talked to her, the other phoned the fire service and took live instructions on how to perform CPR.
After 30 minutes of attempted resuscitation, the woman previously deemed lifeless was breathing again.
She was transferred to Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, where she has been recovering for almost a week.
Yvan Assioma, regional secretary of the police union Alliance, called the woman’s survival a “crazy story” and an “unimaginable scenario”.
“Our colleagues thought they were in an episode of The Walking Dead!” he joked.
The police commissioner in charge of their district has called for the two officers to be honoured with a bravery award.