A week after shocking her relatives by coming back to life during her wake, Bella Montoya has died at the age of 76. The Ecuadorian woman suffered an ischemic stroke and passed away on Friday night at the Martín Icaza Hospital in Babahoyo, where she had been declared dead earlier.
The hospital said that Montoya had been under intensive care and permanent surveillance since June 9, when she was rushed back to the hospital after showing signs of life at a funeral home in Quito. She had been admitted with a possible stroke and cardiopulmonary arrest that morning, and a doctor on duty had pronounced her dead after failing to resuscitate her.
Her son Gilberto Barbera Montoya said that he had not received any medical explanation from the authorities about what happened, and that he was planning to take legal action against the hospital. He said that his mother’s sister had filed a formal complaint and was seeking to identify the doctor who issued the death certificate.
The incident caused a stir in Ecuador and prompted the health ministry to launch an investigation into the hospital’s procedures for issuing death certificates. A technical committee has also been formed to review the case.
Montoya, who had worked as a nurse, was taken back to the same funeral home where she had revived. Her son said that she would be buried at a public cemetery.