Emirati mother in coma for nearly 30 years grateful for outpouring of support

Son Omar Webair, 32, said his mother is continuing to stage an incredible recovery

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Munira Abdullah awakened from a 27-year-long vegetative state at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Khushnum Bhandari for The National
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A woman who woke from a near 30-year coma is grateful for the global support and good-will messages she has received.

Emirati Munira Abdulla, from Al Ain, gained worldwide attention after The National revealed her remarkable recovery from a road crash 27 years ago. 

Her son, Omar Webair, 32, who was four when a bus collided with Ms Abdulla's car, said the family had been inundated with messages of support – from old friends in the UAE and strangers thousands of miles away.

"Many people have called. Some of her friends have suddenly appeared again and now they insist on seeing her," Mr Webair said.

“But I need people to understand they need to be patient. I have explained to her friends that she is still not completely conscious.

“For us, this is incredible because we were hoping to hear her speak just a letter, but now she is speaking full words.

“She has improved a lot and now she is aware that she wants to get better and keeps praying that she recovers.

“Now she has the will to continue with the treatment.”

Warm words from close to home and farther afield have touched the hearts of the family, including Ms Abdulla.

"I read to her the comments and prayers that people wrote under her story [in The National] and she was grateful and prayed back for them. All of my family members are receiving an influx of calls from friends and acquaintances."

Ms Abdulla was 32 when she suffered a severe brain injury that left her in a coma. She spent years in hospitals in the UAE, but in April 2017, the Crown Prince Court paid for extensive treatment in ­Germany.

Doctors at Schoen Clinic in Bad Aibling, about 50 kilometres south-east of Munich, prioritised physical therapy and controlling her epilepsy.

Last June, during Ms Abdulla’s final week in Europe, the unexpected happened.

“There was a misunderstanding in the hospital room and she sensed I was at risk, which caused her a shock,” Mr Webair said. He had been involved in an argument at his mother’s bedside when she began to stir.

“She was making strange sounds and I kept calling the doctors to examine her,” Mr Webair said.

“They said everything was normal. 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.”

Ms Abdulla continues to receive treatment in Abu Dhabi.

A report from Mafraq Hospital last month said that she is “able to communicate in a very reasonable manner, especially in familiar situations”.