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Declared dead, woman found alive in coffin at her own wake in Ecuador

Woman presumed dead found alive in coffin at her wake in Ecuador

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2023. 7:49 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: In an astonishing turn of events in Babahoyo, Ecuador, a 76-year-old woman, declared dead at a hospital, was found alive during her own wake. The woman, identified as Bella Yolanda Montoya Castro, was discovered knocking on her coffin, stunning her grieving family and friends.

The woman’s son, Gilberto Barbera, reported the shocking incident in a video circulated on social media. “I lifted up the coffin, and her heart was pounding, and her left hand was hitting the coffin… We called 911 to bring her here to the hospital,” Barbera said. The video shows community members rallying around Montoya, anxiously awaiting the arrival of emergency services.

According to CNN, the Ministry of Public Health confirmed that a state investigation into the circumstances of the case is currently underway. Montoya had initially been admitted to the hospital on Friday due to a potential stroke and cardiopulmonary arrest. Despite efforts to revive her, she was declared dead by an on-duty doctor when she did not respond to resuscitation.

The video posted by Barbera showcases the distressing scene, displaying Montoya’s hospital tags and her son imploring for an ambulance to arrive. The name of the woman was later confirmed in the video when a person in the room responded to an inquiry, saying, “Bella Yolanda.”

Ecuador’s Health Ministry, in a statement issued Sunday, reported that Montoya is now in intensive care at the Martín Icaza Hospital in Babahoyo, the same facility that had earlier declared her deceased. Her current health status remains unclear as of now, and CNN’s attempts to contact the hospital for a comment have been unanswered.

The Health Ministry further detailed that a national technical committee has been established in coordination with the Health Services Quality Assurance Agency. This committee has been tasked to initiate a medical audit to establish responsibilities concerning the alleged false death declaration. The incident has raised grave concerns about the medical practices in the region, and a thorough investigation is anticipated to bring clarity to the case.

As the news broke, it has sparked an outpouring of shock and sympathy from around the world, with many praying for Montoya’s recovery and urging for a comprehensive investigation into the incident.


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