She was in the back of a car with her four-year-old son on the way to their home in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), when the vehicle collided with a school bus.
Ms Munira Abdulla, then 32, hugged her son to protect him, but suffered a serious brain injury from the impact, which left her in a coma. Doctors believed she would never open her eyes again.
But last year, 27 years after she fell into a coma, Ms Abdulla regained consciousness in a hospital in Germany.
Her son Omar Webair, 32, told The National, a UAE-based paper: “I never gave up on her because I always had a feeling that one day she will wake up.”
The 1991 accident had left him with a mere bruise.
Ms Abdulla was later transferred to a hospital in London. She was declared to be in a vegetative state, with next to no awareness of her surroundings but able to feel pain.
She was brought back to a hospital in Al Ain, a city near the Oman border, where she stayed for a few years, undergoing physiotherapy to prevent the degeneration of her muscles.
Although she could not speak, Mr Webair could tell when she was in pain from her facial expressions.
She spent years in various hospitals in the UAE, moving between medical facilities due to insurance constraints.
In 2017, Ms Abdulla’s family was offered a grant by the Crown Prince Court, an Abu Dhabi government body, for her to be transferred to Germany, where she underwent surgery to treat the weakened muscles in her limbs.
At the Schoen Clinic in Bad Aibling, about 50km from Munich, doctors prioritised physical therapy and controlling her epilepsy, with the aim of improving her quality of life.
Last June, during Ms Abdulla’s final week in Germany, Mr Webair was involved in a disagreement by her bedside when she began to stir.
“She was making strange sounds and I kept calling the doctors to examine her,” Mr Webair told The National. “They said everything was normal.”
But three days later, he woke up to Ms Abdulla calling his name.
“I was flying with joy,” Mr Webair told The National.
“For years, I have dreamt of this moment, and my name was the first word she said.”
Over time, she has become more responsive and can hold some conversations. Ms Abdulla is now receiving treatment in Abu Dhabi, where she is undergoing physiotherapy and further rehabilitation.