The Ecuadorian authorities are currently conducting an investigation into the hospital where Bella Montoya, a former nurse, was treated before her funeral.
During a wake in the central city of Babahoyo, a surprising incident occurred when a woman who had been pronounced dead started knocking on her own coffin, revealing that she was still very much alive.
The extraordinary occurrence prompted a government inquiry into the hospital’s practices in Bella Montoya’s case. The 76-year-old was swiftly taken out of her coffin and rushed back to the hospital after the unfinished funeral on Friday.
Gilberto Barbera, Mrs. Montoya’s son, expressed both relief and shock, saying, “It gave us all a fright.” He went on to explain, “There were about 20 of us there… After about five hours of the wake, the coffin started to make sounds. My mom, who was wrapped in sheets, was hitting the coffin, and when we approached, we could see that she was breathing heavily.”
Mr. Barbera shared that the doctors informed him his mother’s condition remains critical.
As the investigation proceeds, Mrs. Montoya is currently in intensive care at the Martin Icaza Hospital in Babahoyo, while the Ministry of Health examines the doctors involved in her case. The ministry has also established a technical committee to review the hospital’s protocols for issuing death certificates.
According to the health ministry, Mrs. Montoya had initially been admitted to the hospital on Friday due to a possible stroke and cardiopulmonary arrest. She was declared dead after failing to respond to resuscitation attempts.
Mr. Barbera stated that his mother was unconscious when she arrived at the emergency room and that a doctor later informed him of her death a few hours later. The doctor handed over identity documents and a death certificate.
Currently, Mrs. Montoya is intubated, and doctors have not provided much hope regarding her prognosis, according to Mr. Barbera. No specific details about the doctor who prematurely declared her dead have been released.