A shocking incident unfolded in Ecuador when an elderly woman, Bella Montoya, who had been declared dead at a hospital, startled her grieving family by banging on the inside of her coffin during her wake.
The 76-year-old woman was initially pronounced dead by a doctor in Babahoyo after experiencing a suspected stroke. Her son, Gilberto Barbera, recounted how his mother arrived unconscious at the hospital’s A&E and was later declared deceased. The doctor provided identity documents and a death certificate.
Following the declaration, Bella Montoya’s body was placed in a coffin and transported to a funeral parlor for the wake. However, during the vigil, the family began to hear unsettling sounds emanating from the coffin.
“It gave us all a fright. After about five hours of the wake, the coffin started to make sounds,” Gilberto Barbera shared. “My mom was wrapped in sheets and hitting the coffin, and when we approached, we could see that she was breathing heavily.”
Mourners captured video footage showing the woman struggling to breathe inside the casket as they awaited an ambulance. It was a harrowing sight for her family, who immediately sought medical assistance reported The Guardian.
According to her son, Bella Montoya was subsequently transferred to intensive care for further treatment. In response to the incident, Ecuador’s health ministry has established a committee to investigate the matter thoroughly.
This unsettling event brings to mind a similar occurrence in February, where an 82-year-old woman in New York State was found to be breathing at a funeral home three hours after being pronounced dead at a nursing home. Such incidents underscore the need for utmost vigilance and careful assessment in determining a person’s vital signs and confirming their passing.