An Ecuadorian woman who surprised guests at her wake by knocking on her coffin earlier this month died Friday after a week of intensive care.
Doctors declared 76-year-old Bella Montoya, a retired nurse, dead after she suffered a possible stroke and cardiopulmonary arrest. Ecuador’s health ministry said Montoya did not respond to resuscitation efforts.
Her family had previously gathered for a wake at a funeral home on June 9, just hours after Montoya was declared dead by doctors the first time. But everything came to a stop when they heard a sound coming from inside the coffin.
Montoya’s son, Gilberto Barbera, told the Associated Press the sound gave everyone a “fright.” He also said his mother’s condition remained dire, and she was returned to the hospital immediately.
Health workers lift Bella Montoya onto a gurney to take her back to a hospital for treatment after realizing she is alive.
He said Montoya’s sister filed a formal complaint about the incident and is looking to find out who the doctor was who declared her dead.
Montoya’s remains were sent back to the same funeral home where she previously regained consciousness, and her son said she will be buried at a public cemetery.