Son says Emirati woman awake and talking after 27-year coma

/ CBS/AP

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — The story of a woman in the United Arab Emirates who apparently woke up from a 27-year-long coma has grabbed international attention. Munira Abdulla's remarkable tale of recovery was first told by Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper on Monday.

The newspaper said that in 1991, Abdulla was with her son when a school bus collided with their car. Her son, cradled by his mother before the crash, escaped with just a bruise to the head.

Abdulla, who was a passenger in the back seat of the car, was 32 at the time. Now the same son, Omar Webair, himself now 32, has said his mother regained consciousness in a German hospital last year.

A photo taken for the newspaper shows her in a wheelchair visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where she moved last June. The mosque didn't even exist at the time of the crash.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu-Dhabi, UAE iStock

During her time in the German clinic, Webair said his mother was tube-fed and underwent physiotherapy to prevent her muscles from deteriorating. Doctors there said the goal was simply to improve her quality of life, but they did notice some improvement in her awareness.

But then just a week before she was due to leave the clinic outside Munich, Webair says a dispute between himself and others in her hospital room led to a dramatic development.

"There was a misunderstanding in the hospital room and she sensed I was at risk, which caused her a shock," he told The National. "She was making strange sounds and I kept calling the doctors to examine her."

But Webair said the doctors were dismissive, telling him "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," he said.

Slowly she became even more responsive, according to her son, and "now she can tell us where she is feeling pain, and I can have conversations with her if she is interested in the topic. 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."

Webair told The National that he "never gave up on her because I always had a feeling that one day she will wake up."

He told the paper he wanted to share his family's story "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."

Webair said his family had personally thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, for his help in getting his mother sent to Germany for treatment.

First published on April 24, 2019 / 10:26 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

istock000075376681large.jpg

Court to hear arguments in legal challenge to "Remain in Mexico"

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked many of the administration's immigration polices, prompting the president's ire

10M ago

James Holzhauer tops $1M in record time on "Jeopardy!"

"Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings took 33 games in 2004 to reach $1 million, according to fan website thejeopardyfan.com

1H ago

Trump says he would challenge impeachment in Supreme Court

Trump said the Mueller report cleared him of wrongdoing, even though it outlined possible instances of obstruction of justice

1H ago

PG&E's plan to award $235 million in bonuses approved by judge

The employee bonuses will be given to 10,000 rank-and-file employees, rather than senior management

1H ago

Wisconsin Gov. Evers: Foxconn wants to revise its huge deal

The Democrat is rebuking state Republican leaders' claims he's trying to undermine the electronic giant's contract

1H ago

Court to hear arguments in legal challenge to "Remain in Mexico"

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked many of the administration's immigration polices, prompting the president's ire

10M ago

Trump says he would challenge impeachment in Supreme Court

Trump said the Mueller report cleared him of wrongdoing, even though it outlined possible instances of obstruction of justice

1H ago

Major companies want Tennessee lawmakers to block bills that discriminate LGBT people

One bill would let adoption agencies refuse, based on written religious beliefs, to place children with parents

2H ago

Oregon judge to partially block new Trump abortion policy

The administration's rule could cut off federal funding for providers who refer patients for an abortion

3H ago

Andrew Gillum faces hearing over allegations of improperly accepting gifts from lobbyists

An Ethics Commission says it found probable cause in January to believe the former Tallahassee mayor accepted gifts in violation of civil law

3H ago

Court to hear arguments in legal challenge to "Remain in Mexico"

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked many of the administration's immigration polices, prompting the president's ire

10M ago

Son says Emirati woman awake and talking after 27-year coma

Man tells newspaper his mom suddenly called out is name almost 3 decades after a devastating car crash left her in a vegetative state

25M ago

Saudi Arabia beheads 37 for alleged terrorism-related crimes

It was the largest mass execution by the conservative Islamic kingdom's government since 2016

2H ago

New info emerges on Sri Lanka bombings intel failure and suspects

Nation still getting to grips with huge loss, and government failures, as Muslim community worries about backlash after Easter attack

1H ago

Kim Jong Un arrives for summit with Putin in Russia

Frustrated over deadlocked talks with Trump administration, Kim is looking to Moscow to help resolve "the situation in the Korean Peninsula"

5H ago

James Holzhauer tops $1M in record time on "Jeopardy!"

"Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings took 33 games in 2004 to reach $1 million, according to fan website thejeopardyfan.com

1H ago

Opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick dies at 35

An inspiring opera singer who received two sets of transplanted lungs over the course of her life has died at the age of 35, according to her family. Charity Tillemann-Dick was a champion of organ donation, which allowed her to continue doing what she felt she was born to do. Seth Doane reports.

1H ago 03:20

Time 100: Stars share messages for Gayle King

Time magazine celebrated its 100 most influential people with a gala in New York City, honoring dozens of leaders across many industries. Our own "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King made the list and cover for the first time. Some of the stars on the red carpet shared their messages with King.

1H ago 02:44

First reactions to "Avengers: Endgame" are in

"#AvengersEndgame is everything you want it to be and more," one critic said

15H ago

Brie Larson and Scarlett Johansson stun fans at "Avengers" premiere

"Scarlett Johansson and Brie Larson will defeat Thanos," one person reacted about their red carpet look

17H ago

2020 digital ad wars focus on hot-button issues

Axios reporter Sara Fisher said the biggest issues will be "emotionally driven" like gun control and abortion

17H ago

"Avengers: Endgame" crossover heading to Fortnite

Epic Games and Marvel will once again bring the world of Fortnite and Avengers together

18H ago

Elon Musk predicts Tesla will have "robotaxis" on the road next year

It's the Tesla CEO's latest big prediction with few details

19H ago

Samsung delays release of Galaxy smartphone

Samsung is pushing back this week's planned public launch of its highly anticipated, $2,000 folding phone after reports that some reviewers' phones were breaking. The company had been planning to release the Galaxy Fold on Friday, but instead it will now run more tests and announce a new launch date in the "coming weeks."

15H ago 00:23

Tesla stock-price woes cost company a third of its cash hoard

Shares of electric-car maker have dropped 21 percent since Jan. 1, a fall that has cost Elon Musk's company dearly

18H ago

NASA just detected the first "marsquake"

For the first time since its mission began, NASA's InSight lander has detected what scientists believe to be a marsquake

14H ago

Household brands bringing zero waste to your doorstep

Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo. and other consumer giants are teaming up on a zero waste project called "Loop" to deliver, clean and refill your favorite products.

18H ago 01:17

How a conservative Texas town became a leader in renewable energy

Mayor Dale Ross says Georgetown, Texas, is on the frontier of a second energy revolution

21H ago

How to reduce your carbon footprint

Scientists worldwide have renewed their calls to fight climate change with greater urgency, beginning with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For Earth Day this year, Irina Ivanova joins CBSN's Errol Barnett with a closer look at some of the myths about reducing your carbon footprint and their more eco-friendly alternatives.

Apr 22 07:42

"Marfa Martians" sending their science experiment to space

The team, made up of 10 and 11-year-olds, want to find a way to kill bacteria in space

Apr 22

Will pot legalization sway the vote in 2020?

65 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal, but 56 percent said the issue wouldn't sway their vote for a candidate across party lines

16H ago

Larry Kudlow on health care: "Basic parts of the system are OK"

The president's chief economic adviser defended the "efficiency" of U.S. health care, calling it a "pretty good system"

16H ago

Fake meat maker plans real IPO

Best known for its plant-based vegan burgers, Beyond Meat hopes to sell its stock on Nasdaq for around $20 a share

17H ago

Officials investigate measles outbreak in Southern California

Some of the locations where people may have been exposed include two college campuses around L.A. and the international terminal at LAX Airport

13H ago

FDA approves 1st generic nasal spray to treat opioid overdose

It will be the first generic nasal spray version of Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses

Apr 22

Adult children are costing parents their retirements

Half of American parents are skimping on retirement savings to support their adult children. Here's why that's bad

10H ago

PG&E's plan to award $235 million in bonuses approved by judge

The employee bonuses will be given to 10,000 rank-and-file employees, rather than senior management

1H ago

Elizabeth Warren's student loan plan: Could it super-charge economy?

The senator says wiping out college debt could create an "enormous middle-class stimulus." Economists agree — with caveats

20H ago

Wisconsin Gov. Evers: Foxconn wants to revise its huge deal

The Democrat is rebuking state Republican leaders' claims he's trying to undermine the electronic giant's contract

1H ago

Trump's Fed pick Stephen Moore faces scrutiny — and not only for his economic ideas

Moore's economic theories are taking a backseat to his other views, such as women participating in some sports was a "travesty"

20H ago

Car rams into 8 people at Calif. intersection, possibly on purpose

Car stopped when it hit tree, and driver was taken into custody

8H ago

Luke Walton sued for alleged assault

New Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton is accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit. Former sports reporter Kelli Tennant claims he assaulted her while he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Carter Evans reports.

12H ago 02:08

Osundairo brothers sue Jussie Smollett's attorney

The brothers involved in an alleged attack on actor Jussie Smollett are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. According to CBS Chicago, Ola and Abel Osundairo are accusing Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian of falsely accusing them of an actual hate crime.

13H ago 00:46

Police had body cameras off in shooting that wounded woman

Two officers involved in a shooting had not turned on their body cameras before the gunfire, a state official said

12H ago

Search for missing boy

Police in Illinois continue their search for 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Investigators have released the 911 call his father made after he discovered his son was missing. Dean Reynolds has the latest.

15H ago 01:41

NASA just detected the first "marsquake"

For the first time since its mission began, NASA's InSight lander has detected what scientists believe to be a marsquake

14H ago

"Marfa Martians" sending their science experiment to space

The team, made up of 10 and 11-year-olds, want to find a way to kill bacteria in space

Apr 22

SpaceX suffers Crew Dragon engine test anomaly

SpaceX suffers engine "anomaly" in Crew Dragon test vehicle during Cape Canaveral engine test

Apr 20

Evidence found for first molecule in the universe

"This molecule was lurking out there, but we needed the right instruments," a top NASA scientist said

Apr 17

Watch: Rocket launches cargo to space station

An Antares rocket blasted off from the Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia carrying a Cygnus cargo ship loaded with supplies for the International Space Station.

Apr 17 01:45

Jason Corbett murder: A look at the evidence

In August 2015, former FBI agent Tom Martens and his daughter Molly Corbett admitted killing her Irish-born husband Jason Corbett, insisting they beat him in self-defense with a brick paver and a baseball bat because Jason was choking Molly and threatening to kill her

Apr 20 11 photos

Photos: Fire burns Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

On April 15, 2019 flames erupted at the landmark cathedral, the most-visited landmark in the French capital

Apr 16 46 photos

Star Wars Celebration 2019

The four-day convention for fans of the Star Wars saga, held in Chicago, included cosplayers, panels with the filmmakers, and the debut of the trailer for Episode IX of the series

Apr 13 39 photos

Awkward Easter Bunny photos

Children love the Easter Bunny – until they meet him

Apr 12 35 photos

The folk art of Bill Traylor

Born into slavery, the self-taught painter who began his artistic life in his 80s is the focus of a retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Apr 7 24 photos

Popular

Kudlow: Basic parts of health care system OK

In a speech about the economy, the director of the National Economic Council said the U.S. health care system was "pretty good" and described what might happen if "Medicare for All" becomes law.

updated 8M ago 02:36

Brothers reunited after six months apart

Two brothers, originally from Honduras, have been reunited six months after they were taken into custody and separated at the U.S. border. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan says the Trump administration's policy of separating families wasn't successful. CBS News digital reporter Kate Smith spoke to CBSN about witnessing the brothers' reunion.

updated 8M ago 07:01

Report analyzes internet's health and impact

Experts at Mozilla have released a new report analyzing the internet's overall health and how it is impacting society. This year's focus was privacy and artificial intelligence. Mark Surman, executive director at the Mozilla Foundation, joined CBSN to discuss the report's findings.

updated 19M ago 06:07

Trump says he would challenge impeachment proceedings

President Trump is vowing to take any fight over impeachment to the Supreme Court. "If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court," he tweeted. This comes as a major showdown escalates between the president and House Democrats. CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang joins CBSN with the latest developments.

updated 8M ago 03:40

2019 National Teacher of the Year revealed

Only on “CBS This Morning,” we are proud to reveal the 2019 National Teacher of the Year: Rodney Robinson. He teaches social studies and history at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center. His lessons focus on helping his students become socially conscious citizens who make the most out of their second chance. Robinson joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss his push for an "equitable culture" in the classroom.

1H ago 06:54