A truly astonishing incident unfolded in Ecuador when mourners attending the funeral of retired nurse Bella Montoya received an unexpected shock. As they gathered to pay their final respects, a knocking sound came from inside the coffin, leaving everyone startled and perplexed.
Although it may sound like a scene lifted straight from a horror film, the truth was stranger than fiction. Montoya, who had been pronounced dead following a suspected stroke and cardiac arrest, was shockingly revealed to be alive and breathing, according to her family and local officials.
“It gave us all a fright,” admitted Gilberto Barbera, Montoya’s son, NBC News reports.
According to Barbera, his 76-year-old mother had been unconscious when they rushed her to the Hospital Marlin Icaza de Babahoyo in the central city of Babahoyo on Friday. Despite efforts to resuscitate her, she showed no response, leading the attending physician to declare her deceased, as stated by the Ecuadorian health ministry.
On the same day, her family brought her to the funeral home for the wake. However, to their astonishment, they began hearing strange sounds emanating from inside the coffin, Barbera recounted.
“About 20 of us were present. After approximately five hours into the wake, the coffin started producing sounds. My mom, wrapped in sheets, was hitting the coffin, and as we approached, we noticed her heavy breathing,” he revealed.
Captured footage immediately following the incident depicted a coffin resting on the floor of a small, unadorned, light-blue room adorned only with a silver crucifix and a pedestal fan. Inside the open casket was a frail-faced woman with gray hair, moving her mouth as two men supported her head.
She was swiftly transported back to the hospital, where she was placed in intensive care and remained intubated. The health ministry described her condition as “unstable,” while her son lamented the grim prognosis given by the doctors.
In response to the premature declaration of death, the health ministry announced the formation of a committee comprising various government agencies to conduct an audit and investigate the circumstances surrounding the extraordinary occurrence.