Ecuador: Woman wakes up in her own coffin after wake

Surprising “resurrection”: Woman wakes up in her own coffin after a five-hour vigil

Two men unpack a coffin (icon image)

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The woman suffers cardiac arrest in the hospital and is pronounced dead. The family, however, cannot afford the funeral and asks for a coffin donation – in vain, as it now turns out.

In Ecuador, a woman woke up in her coffin during her own wake and is now being treated at the same hospital that pronounced her dead. A video posted to Twitter shows Bella Montoya, 76, breathing heavily in her open coffin while two men help her. Ecuadorian media celebrated the unusual incident as the “resurrection” of the woman.

Montoya’s son Gilbert Balberán reported that his mother “banged the box with her left hand” at the wake five hours later. In the hospital, his mother is now being supplied with oxygen. “Your heart is stable,” Balberán told the newspaper “El Universo”. “The doctor pinched her hand and she reacted.”

After the Martín Icaza Hospital in the coastal town of Babahoyo declared his mother dead on Friday, Balberán said he had to arrange for a coffin donation for the impoverished family. “They even gave us a death certificate,” he said in a video broadcast by local media.

Woman pronounced dead after unsuccessful attempt at resuscitation

According to the health ministry, Montoya was hospitalized with a suspected stroke, suffered cardiac arrest and was unresponsive to resuscitation, so the doctor on duty pronounced her dead.

Balberán said he visited his mother in the hospital’s intensive care unit on Sunday. “I’m gradually beginning to understand what happened. All I can do now is pray for my mother’s health to improve. I want her to live and be by my side,” he said.

The incident is now to be investigated by a committee and the Ministry of Health says it is monitoring Montoya’s care.


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