Mourners attending the funeral of an old woman in Ecuador were shocked to learn that the deceased was actually still alive.
After what is believed to have been a stroke, Bella Montoya, age 76, was pronounced dead last Thursday.
On Friday, five hours into her wake, family members who were getting ready to change her clothes in preparation for the burial found her gasping for oxygen.
‘Dead’ woman found breathing in coffin at own funeral
Ms. Montoya is currently being treated in intensive care after being readmitted to the hospital, and the Ministry of Health of Ecuador has established a committee to investigate the event.
The ministry explained in a statement that the woman experienced cardiorespiratory arrest, which refers to a loss of both breathing and heart function, and did not respond to any attempts at resuscitation.
The attending physician attested to her passing.
Her son, Gilber Rodolfo Balberán Montoya, was interviewed by the local media and was quoted as claiming that his mother had been “admitted around 9:00, and at noon a doctor told me [she] died.” This information was obtained from the son.
After that, Ms. Montoya was placed in a coffin for several hours before family members saw her attempting to breathe within the casket.
The woman was shown in the video to be lying in an open casket and breathing heavily while several people clustered around her. The video was shared on social media.
After that, we watch the emergency medical technicians arrive and examine Ms. Montoya before transporting her to a stretcher and putting her inside an ambulance.
In the same hospital where her death was pronounced, she is currently receiving intensive care for her condition.
The AFP news agency quoted Mr. Balberán as saying, “Slowly but surely, I am beginning to understand what has taken place.” At this point, all I can do is pray for an improvement in my mother’s health. I want her to be alive and to be here with me.”