Stephen: Ecuador woman found breathing in coffin at her funeral
Written by Stephen Lethbridge on June 13, 2023
Mourners at the funeral of an elderly Ecuadorean woman were startled to discover she was still alive. Bella Montoya, 76, was declared dead last week following a suspected stroke. According to the BBC, five hours into her wake on Friday, relatives preparing to change her clothes ahead of the burial found her gasping for air. Ms. Montoya is now back in hospital in intensive care, and Ecuador’s health ministry has set up a committee to investigate the incident.
In a statement, the ministry said that the woman went into cardiorespiratory arrest, a loss of breathing and heart function, and did not respond to resuscitation attempts. The doctor on duty confirmed her death. Her son, Gilber Rodolfo Balberán Montoya, was quoted by local media as saying that his mother had been “admitted around 09:00, and at noon a doctor told me she died”.
Ms. Montoya was then placed in a coffin for several hours until she was seen by family members trying to breathe. A video posted on social media showed her lying in an open casket and breathing heavily while several people crowded around her. Paramedics are then seen arriving and observing Ms. Montoya before moving her on to a stretcher and into an ambulance.