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Ecuadorian Woman Declared Dead Found Alive Inside Coffin During Her Own Funeral

76-year-old Bella Montoya seemingly revived inside her coffin. AP

In a shocking turn of events in Babahoyo, Ecuador, a 76-year-old woman named Bella Montoya was declared dead at a local hospital, only to be found alive and knocking on her own coffin during her wake. The incident, which has left the community in disbelief, has prompted a state investigation by the Ministry of Public Health.

According to her son, Gilberto Barbera, who captured the incident on video and shared it on social media, he noticed unusual movement and sounds coming from the coffin as mourners gathered at Montoya’s funeral. Frightened by the unexpected occurrence, Gilberto approached the coffin and discovered that his mother was still breathing and her heart was pounding. In a state of panic, he immediately called 911 to request an ambulance and have his mother transported back to the hospital.

The Ministry of Public Health has reported that Montoya had been admitted to the Hospital Marlin Icaza de Babahoyo on Friday, showing symptoms of a possible stroke and experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest. Unfortunately, she did not respond to the resuscitation attempts, leading the attending doctor to declare her deceased.

However, the discovery of Montoya’s continued signs of life has raised serious concerns and initiated a state investigation into the circumstances surrounding the premature declaration of death. The health ministry has formed a committee in collaboration with other government agencies to conduct an audit and determine how such an error occurred.

Following the incident, Montoya was rushed back to the hospital, where she remains in intensive care and on a ventilator. Her condition is described as unstable, and her prognosis is uncertain. Despite the challenging circumstances, Montoya’s family is hopeful for her recovery, although doctors have not provided much optimism.

The incident has brought attention to Ecuador’s public healthcare system, which aims to provide universal coverage. The Ministry of Public Health has reassured the public that healthcare services will continue to be available at all levels of care, emphasizing their commitment to the well-being of the population.

As the investigation unfolds and the family awaits updates on Montoya’s condition, the community in Babahoyo remains shocked by this surreal and unprecedented event. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate medical assessments and the need for thorough protocols to prevent such errors in the future.