Mourners at the wake of an elderly Ecuadorean woman were startled to discover she was still alive.
Following a possible stroke, a hospital doctor in the city of Babahoyo declared 76-year-old Bella Montoya dead.
She was then put in a coffin and taken to a memorial service parlor, where family members held a vigil before her arranged entombment.
But after five hours, when they opened the coffin to put on something else in front of the memorial service, the woman panted for air.
Gilbert Balberán, one of her sons, claims that his mother began to move her left hand and open her eyes and mouth; while she struggled to breathe. He realized then that his mother was still alive.
She is seen struggling to breathe in a video taken by one of the mourners, who also complains that the ambulance they called has not yet arrived.
Minutes after the fact, firemen showed up and lifted Bella Montoya from the casket onto a cot and return her to the same hospital where she had been pronounced dead.
Her son told the media in Ecuador that she was responding despite being in intensive care.
“My mum is on oxygen, her heart is stable. The doctor pinched her hand and she reacted, they tell me that’s good because it means she is reacting little by little,” newspaper El Universo quoted him as saying.
Ecuador’s health ministry has set up a committee to investigate the incident.
Mr Balberán said he had taken his mother to hospital at about 09:00 “and at noon a doctor told me she died”.
He said he had even been given with a death certificate, which indicated that she had died from cardiopulmonary arrest after experiencing a stroke.