Ecuador woman found alive in her coffin dies from stroke seven days later

  • 18/06/2023

A 76-year-old woman who was declared dead but knocked on the lid of her coffin during her own wake has died seven days later from a stroke. 

Bella Yolanda Montoya Castro was declared dead at the Martín Icaza Hospital in Babahoyo, Ecuador the country's Health Ministry said. 

The Ministry said in a statement the woman, who was known as Bella Montoya, was admitted to hospital earlier in June after she suffered a stroke.  

After she didn't respond to treatment a doctor declared her dead and her family held a wake. 

Reports say she woke up in her coffin and knocked on the lid, when it was open relatives were stunned to find her alive and gasping for breath. 

“I lifted up the coffin, and her heart was pounding, and her left hand was hitting the coffin… We called 911 to bring her here to the hospital,” her son Gilberto Barbera said in a video posted on social media.

In the video, people could be seen waiting and supporting Montoya as emergency services arrived at the scene, taking the 76-year-old woman back to the hospital, CNN reported.

The Health Ministry confirmed in a statement to the Guardian she had died after spending seven days in ICU. 

Her body is back at the same funeral home where she was discovered to be alive and her son told AP she will be buried at a public ceremony.