‘Dead’ woman found alive inside coffin at her own funeral moments before scheduled burial
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A woman who was declared dead was found to be alive just moments before her burial.
It's the stuff of nightmares. Being buried alive is something that would fill anyone with dread.
One 76-year-old woman had a lucky escape after she was found to be alive just before she would have been laid to rest in her coffin.
Bella Montoya, from Ecuador, had been declared dead last week, following a suspected stroke.
She had gone into cardiorespiratory arrest, meaning she wasn't breathing and had no heartbeat, and had been unresponsive attempts to resuscitate her.
Bella's heartbroken loved ones had then set about organising her funeral. She had spent hours during a wake lying in her coffin.
The family had then began the process of changing her clothes to prepare her to be buried. It was then that they noticed that she appeared to be showing signs that she was in fact still alive.
Bella's son, Gilbert Balberán, told local news outlet El Universo: "My mother started to move the left hand, open her eyes, the mouth. She was making an effort to breathe."
Harrowing videos on social media show Bella gasping for breath as her loved one rush to call an ambulance. Paramedics observed her vital signs, before transferring her to hospital to receive further treatment.
Gilbert told El Universo: "The doctor at noon told me that my mother was dead was not at at the facility.
"Another one saw me and he gave her oxygen, they intubated her and took her to an (ICU) room where she is under observation."
He added to AFP: "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."
Medical experts contacted by El Universo have suggested it's possible that Bella had entered into a state of catalepsy. This is where someone is extremely unresponsive, and tends to maintain an immobile posture.
However, Ecuador's health ministry has launched an investigation to find out exactly what happened and why Bella was declared dead.
In a statement, the ministry said that Bella had gone into cardiorespiratory arrest, and had not responded to resuscitation attempts.