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"Dead' woman recovers

Her body was cold and stiff. No pulse. No respiration.

Everyone thought Nancy Vitale was dead.

But more than two hours after the Brooklyn woman was officially pronounced dead Monday night, a medical examiner noticed she was breathing.

The 40-year-old teacher emerged from a coma Wednesday morning. Later in the day she spoke with her parents, said Coney Island Hospital spokesman Ken Kiernan.

Authorities are trying to sort out how she was mistaken for a corpse.

The city's Emergency Medical Service team that responded to the scene "followed all EMS guidelines and New York state procedures involved in giving a presumptive diagnosis of death," said EMS spokeswoman Lynn Schulman.

Vitale was found in her basement apartment in the borough of Brooklyn on Monday evening by her landlord.

The landlord called 911 and an EMS technician pronounced the woman dead less than a half hour later, police said. The medical examiner arrived, and after finding no signs of life more than two hours later, he ruled her dead, police said.

But while the examiner was seated at a table doing paperwork, he noticed Vitale breathing. The time was 9:04 p.m., about three hours after Vitale's landlord found her.