Who Is Munira Abdulla? New Details About The Woman Who Woke Up From A Coma 27 Years Later

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who is Munira Abdulla

When we suffer from a traumatic injury, doctors may sometimes put us in a medically induced coma; other times, our bodies automatically put us in one naturally to cope with the damage. Depending on the circumstances, people can remain in a coma for weeks, months, years, and even decades.

And though in America we saw the controversial case of Terri Schiavo, whose husband removed her feeding tube after years in an irreversible vegetative state, one recent case has a happy ending.

In 1991, a 32-year-old young woman and her four-year-old son were involved in a car crash in the United Arab Emirates. The woman had been in a coma for 27 years ... until last June. Who is Munira Abdulla?

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On that fateful day, Abdulla was driving her car to pick up her son, Omar Webair, from school. Shortly after, her vehicle collided with a bus. Abdulla shielded her son from the impact, though she suffered severe brain damage in the process and went into a coma.

Doctors were positive Abdulla would never regain consciousness; she had no awareness of her surroundings, was fed with a feeding tube, and underwent physiotherapy to prevent her muscles from atrophy. She lived in several hospitals, eventually ending up in Germany.

At the Schön Clinic in Germany, doctors used a holistic approach to treat Abdulla, using “a combination of physical therapy, medicine, operations and sensory stimulation.” A neurological specialist who treated Abdulla, Friedemann Müller, revealed that her condition had slowly improved over several weeks, and that being in a vegetative state of “minimal consciousness” is not the same as being in a coma.

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During a phone interview, Müller told NBC News that she gained consciousness after months of therapy; when she arrived at their facility, her eyes barely showed movement.

“It’s not like waking up in the morning. It was a process over weeks as reactions and vocalizations increased and improved,” he said. “...No patient simply wakes up from a coma after 27 years. She can now interact consciously with her environment and participate in family life again."

For Abdulla’s son, Omar, he couldn’t be happier that his mother is on the road to further recovery.

In an interview with The National, he said, “I never gave up on her because I always had a feeling that one day she will wake up. 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 continued to visit his mother over the years and oversaw her care. “To me, she was like gold; the more time passed by, the more valuable she became,” he revealed.

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He also discussed the moment Abdulla woke up:

“She was making strange sounds and I kept calling the doctors to examine her. 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... I shared her story to tell people not to lose hope on their loved ones. Don’t consider them dead when they are in such a state.”

Currently, Abdulla is in rehab in Abu Dhabi, and is able to hold conversations and feel pain. Clearly, it’s absolutely amazing how resilient she is.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.