A woman in a coma since a horrific car crash in 1991 left her with severe brain damage has miraculously awoken from her vegetative state, her family said.
Munira Abdulla was 32 when she and her brother-in-law picked up her 4-year-old son from school.
With Munira in the back seat holding her son and her brother-in-law behind the wheel, the family began their drive home to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
But on their way home, the family’s vehicle got into an accident with a school bus.
Munira managed to shield her son from the impact, and he walked away from the collision with just a bruise, he told the National.
“When she saw the crash coming, she hugged me to protect me from the blow,” recalled Munira’s son, Omar Webair, now 32 years old himself.
But Munira sustained serious injuries, and help was far away.
“There were no mobile phones and we could not call an ambulance,” Omar said. “She was left like that for hours.”
Munira was eventually transferred to a hospital in London in a minimally conscious state. Though she could sense pain, she was completely unresponsive, with next to no awareness of her surroundings.
She was eventually moved to several different hospitals in Al Ain before the Crown Prince Court in 2017 gave the family a grant for a comprehensive multidisciplinary program in Germany, the National wrote.
“Our leaders are always supportive in such situations and we are thankful for it,” Omar said.
Munira in Germany underwent several corrective surgeries to her muscles and was given medication to improve her state, including her alertness.
And then in June 2018, Omar had an argument in his mother’s hospital room.
It apparently left an impression on his mother, who began “making strange sounds.”
“I kept calling the doctors to examine her,” he said. “They said everything was normal.”
But within three days, Munira began calling Omar’s name.
“I was flying with joy,” he said. “For years, I have dreamt of this moment, and my name was the first word she said.”
She has since become increasingly responsive, is able to somewhat participate in conversations, recites prayer and can articulate when she’s feeling pain. Munira is now receiving treatment in Abu Dhabi.
Munira’s progress is rare, as the BBC reports “there are only a few cases of people recovering consciousness after several years.”
But Munira’s son pointed to his mother as living proof that hope should never be lost.
“All those years, the doctors told me she was a hopeless case and that there was no point of the treatment I was seeking for her,” he said. “But whenever in doubt I put myself in her place and did whatever I could to improve her condition.”