When Marwa, a one-year-old from from Algeria, was placed into a medically induced coma after a virus threatened her body and brain, doctors at Timone Hospital in Marseille, France were skeptical of her prognosis. So skeptical, in fact, that they recommended withdrawing the machines that kept her alive, fearing that she had suffered too much neurological damage to recover.
But Marwa's father, Mohamed Bouchenafa, knew that his daughter was fighting her disease: "When I speak to her, she hears my voice, she reacts, sometimes even smiles," he told a local French news site. This is why Bouchenafa and his family started a petition campaign called "Not Without My Marwa" to change her doctors' minds - the petition received over 114,000 signatures.
The Bouchenafas then took that petition to court, where Marwa was granted an extra two months on the machines to be monitored for signs of improvement. And then 10 days later, like magic, as if she knew the world was watching - she opened her eyes.
Bouchenafa caught this miraculous moment on video and later posted in on Facebook. "Marwa, Marwa," he croons. "It's your papa," he says in French. Marwa stares up at her dad, blinking and smiling despite her breathing tube. According to her mother, since waking, the toddler's organs are functioning correctly, reported Daily Mail.
The hope is that over the course of the next two months, Marwa will continue to improve and hit milestones. The fact that she opened her eyes for the first time since September fortified her parents resolve. "Her treatment continues, but we see progress every day and that gives us a lot of hope," Bouchenafa told Nice Matin.
[h/t Daily Mail]
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