190701 indian granny
Indian granny who woke up from coma Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Indian grandmother has woken up three months after slipping into a coma following a freak accident in Dubai.

Suchitra Pratap, 61, a retired English professor, was on a visit in the city to see her son Navdeep Pratap. She was hurt when a child playing football ran into her on February 6. The incident took place while she was on her evening walk in a communal area in Discovery Gardens.

According to eye witnesses, Suchitra fell backwards and injured her head, which caused internal bleeding. The building security and neighbours called an ambulance and she was rushed to a nearby hospital where the neurosurgeon conducted a brain surgery and removed a flap from her skull to ease the rising oedema (swelling).

On Monday, her son Navdeep told Gulf News that his mother was put on a ventilator immediately after arriving at the hospital. After about two weeks of treatment she could respond to light and sound, yet continued to be in a comatose state. Eventually, on February 28, with help from the Indian consulate and community members who raised funds, she was flown in an air ambulance to the KIMS Hospital, Hyderabad.

Navdeep added: “The hospital staff at KIMS, Hyderabad, kept my mother under observation for a week and realising there was not much they could do for her, advised us to move her to a physical rehabilitation facility. The family chose Suvitas Rehabilitation Centre where she has been receiving various therapies for recovery.”

Slow and steady improvement

Being in a familiar environment and having extended family visit her had a positive impact on Suchitra, who gradually began showing signs of being aware of our surroundings, smiling and responding to hugs from her grandchildren.

“Now my mother is able to recognise people, call for nurse when needed, eat on her own, go for physical rehabilitation classes with assistance and is gradually improving,” Navdeep recounted.

“As expected in such cases her memory is a bit jumbled, which with time and therapy is expected to settle. She often asks how she landed in the hospital, requesting to go back home. We are all hopeful we will be able get her back home to Dubai very soon,“ added Navdeep.

In the last week of June, Suchitra underwent surgery at KIMS to replace the skull flap taken out earlier. However, since the flap was out of the body for a long time, it had deteriorated. So the doctors used an artificial titanium implant to create a mesh that was then covered with her scalp.

Navdeep, who is a Dubai resident, flies back as much as he can to spend time with her at Suvitas, where Suchitra is gradually recovering with help from a team of doctors, her daughter and other family members.