Woman in intensive care after she was found breathing inside coffin at her funeral

A 76-year-old woman was being prepared for burial when her relatives realised that she was breathing and gasping for air inside the coffin at her funeral.

Stock photo: Funeral coffin

The Ecuadorean elderly woman, Bella Montoya is now reportedly on admission in the intensive care unit of the same where she had been declared dead.

Mourners at the funeral were shocked to discover she was not dead and they almost buried her alive.

It is reported that Montoya was declared dead last week following a suspected stroke. Five hours into her wake on Friday, while relatives were preparing to change her clothes before laying her to rest, they found her gasping for air.

The development has stirred conversations across Ecuador, and the country's health ministry has set up a committee to investigate and unravel all the mysteries surrounding it.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, Montoya went into cardiorespiratory arrest – a loss of breathing and heart function – and all efforts to resuscitate her proved futile.

The doctor on duty at the hospital where she was rushed confirmed her death and her body was placed in a coffin for several hours before her family members observed that their beloved was not dead after all.

A social media video showed the supposed dead woman lying in an open casket and breathing heavily while surrounded by very anxious family members and other mourners.

Paramedics were called and they examined Montoya briefly and then moved her onto a stretcher and into an ambulance before proceeding to the same hospital where she was declared dead.

Gilber Rodolfo Balberán Montoya, the woman's son recounted in an interview with local newsmen how her mother's situation occurred.

“My mother was admitted around 09:00, and at noon a doctor told me [she] died," he is quoted to have said.

“Little by little, I am grasping what has happened. Now I only pray for my mother’s health to improve. I want her alive and by my side," devastated Balberán told the AFP news agency.

There have been stories about people presumed to be dead waking up before they are buried, but it is not a common occurrence.

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