Exceptional medical care creates coma miracle in Bavaria
The headlines are literally going around the world: "Woman awakes from coma after 27 years" and "Coma miracle in Bavaria". A miracle? No, exceptional medical care! "The fact that the patient was able to respond so well is the result of outstanding medicine, an optimal intensive treatment of her numerous complaints over an extensive period of time," explains head physician, Dr Friedemann Müller from Schoen Clinic Bad Aibling. And he confirms that he has never experienced a patient recovering so well after more than 20 years.
In 1991, Munira Abdulla picked up her four-year-old son from school in Abu Dhabi. Both were sitting in the back seat of their car when a school bus hit them. Little Omar was only slightly injured – his mother had taken him in her arms and protected him when she saw the bus coming. Munira Abdulla herself suffered severe injuries. The 32-year-old was admitted to a hospital – the prelude to years of hospital stays in the United Arab Emirates, in London, and finally in Germany at Schoen Clinic Bad Aibling, Bavaria.
"When the patient came to us in the summer of 2017, she was in a minimally conscious stage. This means that she often looked briefly at something, usually a face, like that of her son. However no targeted movements were recognisable," explains Dr Müller. The neurologist summarises the state of health of the 60-year-old at the time: After a severe craniocerebral injury, extensive deterioration and atrophy had occurred in the brain, which led to significant impairments of alertness and consciousness. There were also numerous complications, such as severe spasticity, joint stiffness, extreme muscle tension and post-traumatic epilepsy.
Dr Müller explains how the treatment at Schoen Clinic Bad Aibling began. "First of all, it was important to be able to develop further communication from short-term eye contact. Our approach was to optimally treat all of the patient's complaints. In concrete terms this means in extracts: The spasticity was treated with botulinum toxin; the epilepsy optimally adjusted; stiffened joints operated; all accompanied with pain therapy. The chief physician summarised "Munira Abdulla was able to develop a better body pattern again and subsequently benefited more from our stimulating therapies”. This represented the first partial success of the entire treatment team. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, intensive rehabilitation and mobilisation from bed to wheelchair provided additional benefit. This was so beneficial that one day in June 2018 she opened her eyes and uttered the name of her son.
"At first, we could hardly believe it when her son told us about it," recalls Dr Müller. "But then it became clear that she was actually speaking. I hadn't expected such a development. Of course, I have heard of similar cases, but they are very rare. We always have patients with whom we can make similar progress more than six months after their accident. But a patient, who after such a long period, was able to communicate again, I haven't really experienced before." All in all: a small miracle, achieved through outstanding medical treatment and expertise.
About SCHOEN CLINIC
The largest family-run hospital group in Germany treats all patients, whether they are covered by statutory or private insurance. Since its foundation by the Schoen family in 1985, the company has focused on quality and excellence through specialisation. Its medical specialities are mental health, orthopaedics, neurology, surgery and internal medicine. At 26 locations in Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Great Britain, 10,600 employees treat around 300,000 patients annually. Schoen Clinic has been measuring treatment results for many years and derives relevant improvements for its patients on a regular basis.
--- Thursday, 2nd May 2019 ---