Australian doctors have added to evidence that there can be life after death by reviving a woman 42 minutes after she had been declared dead.

Mother-of-two Vanessa Tanasio, 41 (pictured with her family above), was rushed to hospital in Melbourne after suffering a major heart attack at her home in the suburb of Narre Warren.

Paramedics tried desperately to revive her in the ambulance but on arrival at the Monash Heart Hospital she was declared clinically dead.

But today Mrs. Tanasio was sitting up in her hospital bed smiling and chatting to her mother Virginia and children Ella,, 11, and Max, 9, who had come to visit.

Mrs. Tanasio, described by Australian media as a ‘miracle patient’, owes her life to a high-tech machine that kept blood flowing to her brain.

With her brain continuing to function thanks to the £10,000 device called LUCAS2, surgeons were able to perform emergency treatment on her heart and return it to a normal rhythm.

‘I feel excellent, ‘ Mrs. Tanasio said in a brief telephone interview from hospital.

‘For someone who has been dead for nearly an hour I am feeling tremendously well.’

A saleswoman with an earth-moving company, Mrs. Tanasio said she had not previously been troubled with heart problems.

“This has taken me completely by surprise. I’m relieved to be still here for my children.

‘The doctors and nurses have been awesome – the machine is awesome.’

Earlier this year, Melbourne man Colin Fiedler, 39, was ‘brought back to life’ after suffering a major heart attack and was declared clinically dead for more than half an hour.

On that occasion, doctors used the same high-tech compression machine which fits around the chest and helps the heart to restart.

A New York cardiologist said in a recent interview that there can be life after what is perceived as death as long as the brain is kept functioning.

But he said that if the brain becomes severely damaged there would be no quality of life if a patient is brought back to a vegetative state.

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He told of Japanese girl who he said had been declared dead for more than three hours but had been resuscitated and was able to live such a normal life that he had heard she had given birth.

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