BY Johnathan Jones, The Western JournalJune 13, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 13, 2023
1 year ago

Mourners Stunned After 'Dead' Woman Wakes Up in Coffin at Her Own Funeral: 'Miracle from God'

A wake for a "dead" woman in Ecuador was upended on Friday when she woke up and began banging on the inside of her own coffin.

Those who were in attendance for the final sendoff were shocked while the woman’s son called her awakening a “miracle."

According to The New York Post, which cited local media reports, 76-year-old Bella Montoya was believed to have died last Friday at a hospital in the city of Babahoyo.

Doctors declared that Montoya had died from cardiorespiratory arrest. The death diagnosis was official enough that a death certificate was issued by government officials.

Within hours, her final arrangements were made.

Four hours after she was declared dead, Montoya was being remembered by friends and family at a wake.

Then, something unthinkable happened. Montoya started banging on the inside of her coffin.

A video of the event showed people rushing to assist the woman:

WARNING: Some viewers might find the following video disturbing.

Montoya was carefully removed from the coffin and put on a stretcher. The video showed she was breathing, and she appeared to be somewhat alert.

Montoya's son, Gilbert Balberán, said his mother’s survival is a “miracle from God.”

Understandably, after the rollercoaster of emotions he experienced, he also said he is still “coming to grips with what has happened.”

As for how a woman who was very much alive ended up with a death certificate and inside a coffin, there is an initial explanation for that.

Montoya is believed to have experienced a condition called catalepsy, which causes people to become rigid and experience slowed bodily functions such as breathing. Catalepsy can also cause people experiencing it to be less likely to react to physical pain.

The condition, along with a lack of diligence from the hospital, led to the rush for a death certificate.

The woman is currently on the mend in the same hospital that declared her dead last week.


Balberán said she is recovering and her prognosis is positive.

"My mother is on oxygen. Her heart is stable," he said. "The doctor squeezed her hand, and she reacted. They tell me this is a good sign because it means she is reacting little by little."

Ecuador's Ministry of Health is currently investigating the incident.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Johnathan Jones, The Western Journal



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