Human Interest

Ecuador’s investigation advancing in case of woman who woke up during her wake

Quito, Jun 13 (EFE).- The Ecuadorian Public Health Ministry (MSP) on Tuesday confirmed that the investigation is continuing to determine who may bear responsibility in the case of an elderly woman who was pronounced dead but then woke up during her wake in the tropical city of Babahoyo.

An MPS official told EFE that the medical audit ordered in the investigation of the case is continuing and personnel from the ministry have been dispatched from Quito to Los Rios province to pursue it.

Participating in the Medical Audit Committee that is thoroughly analyzing the case is also the Health Quality Services Assurance Agency (ACCESS).

The woman, identified as Bella Montoya, was admitted to the Martin Icaza Hospital in Babahoyo “with a presumptive diagnosis of a cerebrovascular accident and she experienced cardiorespiratory arrest without responding to resuscitation efforts, whereupon the physician on duty confirmed her death,” the MSP said in a statement.

However, in a video that circulated on the social networks, one can see the moment when people who were at the wake began helping Montoya, who was found to be breathing while lying in her casket.

In the video, one can hear the statement by the person filming it over the delay in answering the emergency telephone call placed to the Comprehensive Security Service (ECU 911).

When ECU 911 came on the line, the caller said, “Since noon, they’ve had the lady, they had put her in the (coffin), but we can see that (she) has vital signs, the lady is breathing,” the caller says, while other people at the wake try to help Montoya.

The video even shows the hospital identification bracelet on the woman’s wrist.

An ambulance from the Babahoyo Fire Department responded to the 911 call and transferred Montoya, accompanied by her son, to a medical facility.

“This is the first time I’ve seen something wonderful. You can practically see the power of God (…) when it’s not the person’s time. God’s giving her another chance. Let’s hope the doctors do something for her,” said one of witnesses at the wake as the ambulance, with Montoya on board, was leaving.

The witness – a man whose name has not been made public – said that he had known Montoya for about 35 years, adding that she was of “very humble” means with only limited economic resources and lived with her son.

The man in charge of the site for the wake said that they had received the closed coffin around 4 pm, but no one opened it at that time to look at the body.

Nevertheless, around 7 pm, when they did open the casket to change Montoya’s clothing, they noticed that she “was breathing.”

The patient was admitted to a local intensive care unit and intubated, and she was being monitored with a guarded prognosis.

“The MSP investigated the case and will supervise how she is attended to at the health care center,” the ministry said in a statement.

EFE sm/bp

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