Woman Wakes Up After 27-Year Coma

by : Julia Banim on : 23 Apr 2019 13:52
The National

A woman has regained full consciousness after being in a coma for 27 years, much to the joy of her son who never stopped dreaming of her recovery.

Munira Abdulla, from the United Arab Emirates, was just 32 years old when a school bus collided with the car she had been travelling home in with her then four-year-old son, Omar Weiber.


Little Omar escaped the horrific crash with just a bruise to the head, with his mother hugging him protectively just before the impact.

However, Munira was left comatose with a traumatic brain injury, leading doctors to believe she would never again regain full consciousness.

Despite this devastatingly sad diagnosis, Omar never gave up hope that his mother would one day wake up.


Following the crash, Munira was transferred to a London hospital where she was declared to be in a ‘minimally conscious state’. It was found that although she was unconscious she could still experience pain.

As reported by The National, Munira was then returned to the United Arab Emirates, where for many years there were no signs she would recover.

She was fed using a tube and given physiotherapy to stop muscle deterioration, but doctors remained pessimistic about the extent to which she could improve. Omar, now 32, would visit his beloved mother every day, describing her as being as ‘valuable’ as ‘gold’.


A ray of hope came to the family in 2017 when the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, heard of Munira’s plight and offered to pay for her to be treated by specialists in Germany.

Once in Germany, Munira was put on a comprehensive multidisciplinary programme which included physical treatment and epilepsy treatment as well as medication to enhance her wakefulness, sleep rhythm and drive.

Neurology specialist who treated Munira, Ahmad Ryll, told The National:

Our primary goal was to grant her fragile consciousness the opportunity to develop and prosper within a healthy body, just like a delicate plant which needs good soil to grow.


Incredibly, this course of therapy led to notable improvements in Munira’s condition. She began to consciously perceive the presence of her children and the doctor. And a year into her treatment, something truly amazing happened.

Speaking with The National, Omar recalled the moment his mother spoke his name for the first time in almost three decades:

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.



Since then, Munira has come on in leaps and bounds, becoming more aware of her surroundings. She can now hold a conversation, answer questions and recite prayers. She has even recently made a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Dedicated son Omar proceeded to tell The National why he is choosing to share his mother’s story with others:

The reason I shared her story is 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.


Now back home in Abu Dhabi with her family, Munira is continuing to receive treatment.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Health, Coma, Germany


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