- An Emirati woman awoke from a 27-year coma after a car crash in 1991.
- Munira Abdulla, who was 32 in 1991, was in a car with her son Omar when it hit a school bus. She shielded him, sustaining enormous injuries in the process.
- In June 2018, she awoke after a year in a specialist German hospital and began calling out her son’s name.
- Abdulla is now praying, answering questions, and showing signs of a remarkable recovery, her son told The National, a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates.
- It’s rare to regain full cognitive function after a lengthy coma, and often people in long-term comas die while still comatose.
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An Emirati woman woke from a coma 27 years after a car crash that almost killed her.
In 1991, Munira Abdulla, then 32, was being driven back from her son Omar’s school when the car hit a school bus in the city of Al Ain, according to The National, a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates. She shielded Omar, who was 4, from the impact.
Omar Webair, now 32, told The National how he escaped the crash practically unhurt while his mother almost died.
In an incredibly unusual turn, Abdulla woke up last year after more than a quarter-century of unconsciousness, her son said. She can now answer questions and recite verses from the Quran, The National reported.
The newspaper published a photograph of her in a tweet:
— The National (@TheNationalUAE) April 23, 2019
She was critically injured in the crash and was taken to a hospital after many hours waiting on the side of the road, Webair said. Doctors thought she would never open her eyes again, according to the newspaper.
In the years after the crash, Webair visited his mother regularly as she was moved among hospitals in the United Arab Emirates. Abdulla was moved to Germany for specialist care after the UAE government gave her a medical grant in 2017, he said.
Webair told The National he was arguing beside his mother’s bed in the German hospital last June when he heard her making sounds for the first time in 27 years.
- Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
“There was a misunderstanding in the hospital room and she sensed I was at risk, which caused her a shock,” he said.
“She was making strange sounds, and I kept calling the doctors to examine her,” he added. “They said everything was normal. Then, three days later, I woke up to the sound of someone calling my name. It was her. She was calling my name. I was flying with joy. For years I have dreamt of this moment, and my name was the first word she said.”
Abdulla also called her siblings’ names, Webair told the paper.
“When she was screaming, it was like she was reliving the accident and then woke up,” he said.
Webair told The National that he walked miles every day to visit her and that he knew when she was uncomfortable or in pain even though she couldn’t speak.
“To me she was like gold; the more time passed by, the more valuable she became,” he said, adding: “I never regretted it. I believe that, because of my support for her, God saved me from bigger troubles.”