Son says Emirati woman awake and talking after 27-year coma


Dubai, United Arab Emirates — The story of a woman in the United Arab Emirates who apparently woke up from a 27-year-long coma has grabbed international attention. Munira Abdulla’s remarkable tale of recovery was first told by Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper on Monday.

The newspaper said that in 1991, Abdulla was with her son when a school bus collided with their car. Her son, cradled by his mother before the crash, escaped with just a bruise to the head.

Abdulla, who was a passenger in the back seat of the car, was 32 at the time. Now the same son, Omar Webair, himself now 32, has said his mother regained consciousness in a German hospital last year.

A photo taken for the newspaper shows her in a wheelchair visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where she moved last June. The mosque didn’t even exist at the time of the crash.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu-Dhabi, UAE iStock

During her time in the German clinic, Webair said his mother was tube-fed and underwent physiotherapy to prevent her muscles from deteriorating. Doctors there said the goal was simply to improve her quality of life, but they did notice some improvement in her awareness.

But then just a week before she was due to leave the clinic outside Munich, Webair says a dispute between himself and others in her hospital room led to a dramatic development.

“There was a misunderstanding in the hospital room and she sensed I was at risk, which caused her a shock,” he told The National. “She was making strange sounds and I kept calling the doctors to examine her.”

But Webair said the doctors were dismissive, telling him “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,” he said.

Slowly she became even more responsive, according to her son, and “now she can tell us where she is feeling pain, and I can have conversations with her if she is interested in the topic. She sometimes wakes me up to recite prayers with her. She would give me the topic and once I start with the prayer she continues the lines.”

Webair told The National that he “never gave up on her because I always had a feeling that one day she will wake up.”

He told the paper he wanted to share his family’s story “to tell people not to lose hope on their loved ones… Don’t consider them dead when they are in such a state. 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, but whenever in doubt I put myself in her place and did whatever I could to improve her condition.”

Webair said his family had personally thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, for his help in getting his mother sent to Germany for treatment.

First published on April 24, 2019 / 10:26 AM

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