Omar has opened up about the accident and about his mother’s progress following years of treatment in an interview with the UAE-based newspaper The National.
“I never gave up on her because I always had a feeling that one day she would wake up,” Omar told the newspaper on Monday.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
‘I always had a feeling she’d wake up’
Now 32, he told The National that he never gave up on his mum because he “always had a feeling that one day she will wake up”.
Munira was sitting on the backseat of a car with her son when a school bus crashed into the car they were travelling in. It took hours for the emergency services to arrive.
When help eventually got to the scene, she was taken to hospital where doctors recommended she be transferred to a specialist facility in London.
There doctors told her family she was in a vegetative state – totally unresponsive but able to feel pain.
Munira was transferred back to a hospital in the UAE, in Al Ain, where she was fed through a tube and kept in a coma.
Her son kept watch every day, walking 4km to the hospital to talk to her and be by her side.
Eventually, the family received a grant from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamid bin Zayed to have Munira taken to Germany.
There she had a number of surgeries to help correct shortened muscles, as well as physical therapies.
Doctors also gave Munira medication to improve her wakefulness and sleep rhythm.
Dr Ahman Ryll, neurology specialist at Munira’s doctor at Schön Klinik Bad Aibling, 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.”
Omar said it was then he began to see improvements in his mum’s condition.
In a bid to manage his expectations, doctors told Omar it was his “imagination running away with him”, warning they were only offering Munira rehab to improve her quality of life.
Yet, one year later in June 2018, Munira stunned her medical team when she woke up.
‘Flying with joy’
“She was making strange sounds and I kept calling the doctors to examine her, they said everything was normal,” Omar said.
“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.”
Hope for others
Munira was able to answer questions and recite prayers, and today, she’s able to have conversations and can tell people when she’s in pain.
She’s now back in Abu Dhabi with her family and still needs regular physiotherapy to improve her sitting posture and to prevent any other muscle contractions.
Her son told the paper that he’s sharing her story to bring hope to others.
He said: “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.”