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Ecuador: Days after shocking everyone by rising from the ‘dead’, woman dies again

Bella Montoya, 76, an Ecuadorean woman, who knocked on her coffin during her wake, has died seven days later from a stroke. The woman who had been declared dead and surprised her relatives by knocking on her coffin during her wake earlier this month has died after seven days in intensive care.

Montoya was admitted to hospital with a suspected stroke “and went into cardiorespiratory arrest without responding to resuscitation maneuvers, so the doctor on duty confirmed her death,” Ecuador’s Health Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Ecuador woman declared dead
Ecuador woman declared dead

Relatives of retired nurse Bella Montoya were shocked to hear noises coming from her coffin this month after she was declared dead following a suspected stroke. She was rushed straight back to the hospital in Ecuador’s central city of Babahoyo, where officials described her condition as “unstable” and her family said doctors hadn’t given them much hope of a recovery.

Tracing the chain of events leading to the Ecuador woman’s resurrection

It was at that funeral home that the family heard noises coming from inside Montoya’s coffin during her wake June 9, just hours after she had been declared dead at the city’s Hospital Martín Icaza Babahoyo.

A video recorded at the time showed the coffin resting on the floor of a small, bare, light-blue room furnished with a silver crucifix and a pedestal fan. Inside the open casket was a woman with a gaunt face and gray hair, who was moving her mouth up and down as two men supported her head.

“It gave us all a fright,” Gilberto Barbera Montoya, her son said. “After about five hours of the wake, the coffin started to make sounds. My mom was wrapped in sheets and hitting the coffin, and when we approached we could see that she was breathing heavily.”

Balberán had to arrange for the donation of a coffin for the impoverished family after the Martin Icaza public hospital, in the coastal town of Babahoyo, declared Montoya dead on Friday.

They even gave us a death certificate,” he said in a video broadcast by local media. The health ministry has formed a committee to investigate how the first declaration of death happened and how the hospital issues death certificates.

Ecuadoran media reported the unusual incident, with headlines celebrating the woman’s “resurrection.” However, the celebrations were short-lived for the woman died again, a few days after her resurrection. “This time my mother really did die,” Barbera was quoted as saying by the newspaper El Universo. “My life will not be the same.” 

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