UAE woman regains consciousness after 27 years: 6 people who woke up from a coma

German racer Michael Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma after hitting his head against a rock during a skiing accident in the French Alps in 2013.
German racer Michael Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma after hitting his head against a rock during a skiing accident in the French Alps in 2013.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

A woman from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) woke up from a coma last year, 27 years after suffering a brain injury in an accident. Ms Munira Abdulla, who was 32 when the accident occurred, regained consciousness in a hospital in Germany last year, and is now undergoing physiotherapy and further rehabilitation in Abu Dhabi.

Here are several others who have made miraculous recoveries after falling into a coma.

1. Arkansas man mute for 19 years after suffering head injury 

American Terry Wallis, now 55, fell into a coma after suffering a head injury in a traffic accident in 1984. For 19 years, he was mute and virtually unresponsive in a state of minimal consciousness, the New York Times reported.

He spent the years in a nursing home, and family members who visited said they saw hints of awareness in his expressions.

In 2003, he finally spoke again, and his first word in 19 years was "mum". His condition continued to improve, and he started speaking and remembering more. 

Doctors studied his brain and found that Mr Wallis' brain was healing itself by forming new neural connections. 

2. Attack victim in India woke up after 10 months in a coma

In February 2010, a young Indian woman, Ms Dimple Patel, was ambushed and viciously attacked by four men when she was returning to her home in Ahmedabad, in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

She was beaten with iron rods and abandoned unconscious on a railway track.

In 2014, she identified her alleged attackers in court, despite being unable to hear and having difficulty speaking and walking.

3. Formula One legend put in medically induced coma following skiing accident

German racer Michael Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma after hitting his head against a rock during a skiing accident in the French Alps in 2013.

In June 2014, his spokesman Sabine Kehm confirmed that he was no longer in a coma.

 
 
 

His family issued a rare update on his health in January this year.

"You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him," the statement said, adding that they were following the wishes of Schumacher, 50, in keeping his health issues private.

The Formula One and Ferrari legend's exact health status has not been disclosed, but it has been reported that he is still undergoing extensive therapy.

4. Retiree who fell from escalator

A retiree was in a coma for two months after falling on an escalator at Bishan MRT in 2016.

Mr Lim Chwee Leong underwent a tracheostomy and two operations to his brain, and woke up from his coma after being in hospital for two months.

When he regained consciousness in January 2017, he was able to remember that he had a fall at the MRT station and move his limbs slightly.

5. Thai student in Singapore woke up from coma nearly a month after accident

Teenager Aroonrak Jattanathammajit, then 16, was hit by a car in Balestier Road in September 2016. She was comatose for nearly a month and warded at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

Ms Aroonrak underwent two brain operations and spent 10 days in the Intensive Care Unit.

A Singaporean who heard of her plight and her family's financial difficulties started an online crowdfunding drive to raise funds for the family. The funds raised helped the Thai family settle Ms Aroonrak's medical bills.

6. Singaporean man wakes up from 10-day coma after suffering from meningitis

In 2015, Mr Sim Tharn Chun, then 52, went into a coma after suffering from meningitis caused by an infection from Group B Streptococcus bacteria.

He had eaten raw fish porridge before falling ill.

Doctors thought he had suffered brain damage and did not have much hope, his wife said, but Mr Sim was able to breathe and speak on his own when he regained consciousness.