QUITO, Ecuador – A woman from Ecuador who stunned relatives by knocking on her coffin during her wake earlier this month has died after a week in intensive care.
Bella Montoya, 76, died from an ischemic stroke after spending a week in the ICU unit at the Martín Icaza Hospital in Babahoyo, The Guardian reported, citing a statement from Ecuador’s health ministry.
The ministry stated that Montoya had remained under “permanent surveillance” but did not provide further details, according to the newspaper.
Gilberto Barbera Montoya, the woman’s son, told The Associated Press that his mother died on Friday evening.
In a statement last week, the health ministry said that Bella Montoya went into cardiorespiratory arrest and did not respond to resuscitation efforts, according to the BBC. She was declared dead by a doctor at the hospital on June 9.
The woman’s family brought her to a funeral home in Babahoyo, about 129 miles southwest of Quito, The Guardian reported. Family members were holding a wake on June 9 when they heard “strange sounds,” according to the BBC.
“There were about 20 of us there,” Barbera Montoya told the AP. “After about five hours of the wake, 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.”
Barbera Montoya said that he had not received a report from authorities explaining what happened. He added that “things are not going to stay like this,” according to the AP. He added that Bella Montoya’s sister had formally complained about the incident. She wants to identify the doctor who originally declared her dead, the news organization reported.
Bella Montoya, a retired nurse, will be buried at a public ceremony, her son told the AP.