A woman in Ecuador thought to be dead began banging from inside her coffin during her wake. According to the Associated Press, the chilling event occurred last week in the city of Babahoyo about 45 miles northeast of Guayaquil.
The woman, 76-year-old Bella Montoya, had been declared dead by a doctor at Hospital Martín Icaza de Babahoyo after suffering a stroke. In a statement from Ecuador’s Health Ministry, Montoya did not respond to resuscitation efforts.
Montoya’s family transported her to the funeral home on the same day to pay their respects to their matriarch. After a few hours at the funeral, they started hearing sounds from inside the coffin.
“It gave us all a fright,” said Montoya’s son, Gilbert Balberán. “There were about 20 of us there. 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.”
In a shocking video from the funeral home, two men are seen hovering over Montoya’s body inside the open coffin on the floor and supporting her head as she struggles to breathe. And despite the shock, Balberán reportedly called it a “miracle from God.”
Ecuador’s Health Ministry said they were investigating the case and reviewing how the hospital issues death certificates. The AP is reporting that Montoya was rushed back to the hospital in serious condition. She had been intubated, and doctors told the family that her prognosis was, unfortunately, not improving.