Girl Thinks Dad Died 26 Years Ago from Heart Attack Until Missing Document Reunites Them

February 25, 2019 Updated: March 8, 2019

It has been said that the dead can never come back to life. However, in Tennessee, a man indeed “came back” from the dead two decades after his family thought he died of a heart attack. So, what exactly happened?

Ronnie Rudolph moved to Tennessee many years ago after he separated from his wife. Even after this change, his daughter, Janie, kept in touch with him by calling his workplace—a concrete plant in Lebanon.

Posted by Janie Rudolph on Wednesday, 28 November 2018

However, 26 years ago, Janie learned that her father had died from a heart attack.

“They just told me that he had a heart attack and he had problems and that he was deceased,” she told News Channel 5.

“I believed it and I didn’t investigate it. I moved around, I was married and I had my family and I didn’t have money so I just felt like I couldn’t do anything much.”

Meanwhile, everyone else in the family too believed in this news and didn’t question the legitimacy of the story.

Things actually changed in 2018, four months after Janie’s mother died.

Posted by Janie Rudolph on Wednesday, 28 November 2018

“I started looking for a death certificate and I could not find one on my father, so we were thinking he might be alive somewhere,” she said.

After some deep searching, Janie and her daughter discovered that Ronnie had been alive all along. He hadn’t suffered a heart attack, though he’d had two strokes and had difficulties speaking. On the other hand, the poor man thought his family had abandoned him.

“I was very much in shock, I couldn’t believe it, I thought I was having a dream,” Janie said.

Hearing this news, everyone was excited, including Ronnie’s elder sister, Juanita Elliot.

“I was happy and glad to hear it and here I am 84-years-old and he’s just 72, if anybody is supposed to be dead it ought to be me,” Elliot said.

The last time that Elliot saw her brother was in 1992 during their father’s funeral. Elliott previously had Ronnie’s workplace contact number but she happened to lose it, thus further losing touch with her brother.

After reconnecting with Ronnie again, the family arranged for a reunion in Lebanon on a Black Friday. And this time Ronnie got to meet everyone, including his four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

It was a long-overdue reunion that was filled with excitement and anticipation as the family hugged each other with joy. They had also brought along some old photos of Ronnie as a child, which quickly made him laugh.

To finally have a complete family in 26 years, Janie couldn’t stop telling her father of her love for him and refused to leave his side.

Posted by Janie Rudolph on Saturday, 23 February 2019

Janie held her dad’s and continuously said, “I love you.”

As to why Janie was told that her father had a heart attack years ago, how it happened doesn’t really matter to the family anymore as they have now found happiness in each other again.

“It is a good feeling to have all the family together again,” Elliot said.

It seemed like we may never know what exactly happened 26 years ago. But regardless of what happened, the only important thing for this family is the happy ending that they get.