The story of this mother and son will bring hope in the lives of anyone in despair. Omar stayed close to his unresponsive mom in a coma for 27 years. Today she is awake and alive and calls him by his name.
Miracles are rare but their existence is undeniable. The story of Munira Abdulla and her son Omar is nothing but one of those moments that is unbelievable to most humans. Her life is a great example of how wonders can happen if you have a loved one who believes in you and never gives up.
Munira had spent most part of her life in a vegetative state, unable to interact with anyone around her, as her family grew up hoping that someday, she would wake up. In what has been described as a miracle, she woke up from a coma after 27 years. The news of her unimaginable recovery has caught the attention of the entire world. While the medical community is stumped and Munira's recovery has given hope to thousands of others, the mother just wanted to hold her son again. The first thing she did after waking up is call out for her son, Omar.
According to The National, in 1991, Munira Abdulla was on her way back from school with her then 4-year-old son Omar when the unthinkable happened. Their vehicle collided with a school bus which left Munira with a very serious brain injury, and she had slipped into a coma. However, little Omar escaped the accident with just a bruise on his head as his protective mother kept him tight under her arms while she suffered the impact of the collision.
“I was four when the accident happened, and we used to live in Al Ain. That day, there was no bus at the school to take me home. My mother was sitting with me in the back seat. When she saw the crash coming she hugged me to protect me from the blow,” recalls Omar, who is now 32.
Unable to get the hospital due to the lack of mobile phones, Munira was left clinging onto life at the spot of the accident for hours. Little Omar who was helpless was left in despair as he saw his mother undergo the pain due to the accident. “There were no mobile phones and we could not call an ambulance. She was left like that for hours,” Omar adds.
Munira was then transferred to a medical facility in London. However, she remained completely unresponsive and unaware of her surroundings. The doctors who treated her said that the accident had resulted in her going into a state of minimum consciousness. With nothing more that could have been done about her condition then, Munira was transferred back to Al Ain where she spent the rest of her years being tube-fed.
The mother remained in the minimally conscious state and also underwent physiotherapy to prevent her muscles from deteriorating. But Omar, along with other family members never lost hope and walked every day to see her at the hospital. Though she could not speak, Omar sat by her side and understood what she went through by her facial expressions.
“To me she was like gold; the more time passed by, the more valuable she became,” he said. Omar who deeply loved and cared for his mother found it difficult to hold on to his job. However, he did everything he could to make sure she was okay. “I never regretted it. I believe that, because of my support for her, God saved me from bigger troubles.”
The family shifted her from hospital to hospital due to various problems they faced with insurance. Finally, in April 2017, with the help of the UAE Crown Prince, the family shifted Munira to Germany for a comprehensive multidisciplinary programme.
The intensive care and treatment provided at the hospital in Germany helped improve Munira's condition, however, they were not sure if she could talk or return to her normal self again. “I told the doctors I was expecting her to start talking again and they told me ‘you are running wild with your imagination. We are only doing rehabilitation to fix her quality of life,'" recalls Omar.
The unexpected happened during the last week of her treatment. Munira started making strange noises and one day, she called her son Omar by his name.
“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," Omar states. Over time, the condition of Munira improved. “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,” said Omar.
Munira, who has made a major recovery visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which had not been built when she was injured.
Omar who cannot believe that his persistence has paid off says, “I shared her story to tell people not to lose hope on their loved ones. 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.”