The ‘dead’ woman was found breathing in a coffin

image source, Philippe Lisack/Kodong

image caption,

A file photo of a coffin

Mourners at the wake of an elderly Ecuadorian woman were shocked to find her still alive.

A hospital doctor in the town of Papahoyo pronounced Bella Montoya, 76, dead after suffering a stroke.

She was placed in a coffin and taken to a funeral home, where relatives held a vigil before her planned burial.

About five hours later, when they opened the coffin to change clothes ahead of the funeral, the woman gasped for air.

“My mother started moving her left arm, opening her eyes, opening her mouth; she was struggling to breathe,” said her son Gilbert Palperan, describing the moment he realized his mother was alive.

A video taken by one of the mourners shows her struggling to breathe in the open casket, while another complains that the ambulance they called has yet to arrive.

Minutes later, firefighters arrived and took Bella Montoya from the coffin onto a stretcher to the same hospital where she was pronounced dead.

His son told Ecuadorian media that he was in intensive care but was responding.

“My mother is on oxygen, her heart is stable. The doctor pinched her arm, she responded, and they tell me it’s good because she’s reacting a little bit,” El Universo newspaper quoted him as saying.

Ecuador’s Ministry of Health has set up a committee to investigate the incident.

He said he was also issued a death certificate, which stated that he suffered a stroke and died of cardiopulmonary failure.

Bella Montoya isn’t the only one who “came alive” after being officially declared dead.

In February, an 82-year-old woman was found gasping for breath while lying in bed at a funeral home in New York state. He was declared dead three hours ago at the nursing home.

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