Woman Declared Dead, Then Found Gasping for Air in Coffin

Woman's son says her condition remains dire
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
'Dead' Woman Discovered Gasping for Air in Her Coffin
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / kzenon)

An Ecuadorean woman was declared dead last week after suffering a stroke, only to be discovered hours later gasping for air in her coffin. Bella Montoya, 76, is now hospitalized in intensive care and the country's health ministry has opened an investigation into the matter, the BBC reports. Her son says her health situation remains dire and he is praying for her to survive, CBS News reports.

The woman had reportedly gone into cardiorespiratory arrest, no longer breathing and having lost heart function, and could not be resuscitated when a doctor declared her dead. Then, five hours into her wake, her son says, "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." (More Ecuador stories.)

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