A truly bizarre story unfolded in Ecuador last week, when a woman reportedly woke up during her own funeral and began “knocking” from inside her coffin.
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Bella Montoya, 76, was declared dead by doctors June 9, following what was assumed to have been cardiopulmonary arrest and a stroke, Fox News reported.
But, just five hours later, as family members gathered to remember their beloved, something absolutely shocking happened: noises started emerging from Montoya’s coffin.
The stunning events reportedly unfolded before the family planned to bury her.
Her son, Gilberto Barbera, and other family members immediately called an ambulance and fled with the woman back to the hospital, where she remains in serious condition.
“It gave us all a fright,” Barbera told the Associated Press. “There were about 20 of us there. After about five hours of the wake, the coffin started to make sounds.”
Watch the shocking moments that followed (caution: disturbing images):
He continued, “My mom was wrapped in sheets and hitting the coffin and, when we approached, we could see that she was breathing heavily.”
Doctors have given the family a dire diagnosis, despite the fact Montoya is alive and intubated.
It’s unclear what led physicians to initially pronounce her dead, though Ecuadorian officials have reportedly launched an investigation into the matter.
Barbera said his mother might have suffered from catalepsy amid her health woes, a condition described by the National Library of Medicine as being “characterized by inactivity, decreased responsiveness to stimuli, and a tendency to maintain an immobile posture.”
Dr. Stephen Hughes, a medical lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University’s School of Medicine in the U.K., told the BBC death is a process and can sometimes be difficult to definitively discern.
“Sometimes somebody may look like they’re dead but they’re not quite dead,” he said. “Careful examination is necessary to confirm death.”
Pray for Montoya and her family as they navigate this difficult situation.
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