The Indian air hostess who was pictured shellshocked immediately after the Brussels attacks in March has reportedly woken up from a 25-day medically-induced coma. Nidhi Chaphekar became one of the iconic faces of the terrorist attack after an image circulated the internet showing her shirt torn to shreds and her face dripping with blood.
The 42-year-old is said to have suffered from 15% burns on her body and a fractured foot during the bomb blast at Zaventem International Airport. Her husband, Rupesh, said that he was with her at a hospital in Brussels when she woke up.
Rupesh told the MailOnline on 26 April: "She opened her eyes, looked up at me and just smiled. I assured her that everything would be fine now. She has also spoken to our children over phone."
Chaphekar was one of two Jet Airways crew members to be injured during the Brussels terrorist attacks at the airport. The Indian mother of two has been working with Jet Airways since August 1996 and was due to leave Brussels for Mumbai, where she is based, when the blast occurred.
Rupesh said that while most of the minor surgeries had already been performed, they had no clear indication on how much longer her treatment would take. However, the air hostess is believed to be responding well to the treatment for her burns. Rupesh said: "She has an idea that she has been sleeping for a while, but she may not know the number of days that have passed. We are not discussing the blast with her."
The image of Chaphekar showed her covered in dust and with her uniform torn to expose her upper body, prompting widespread discussion about the publishing of the image amongst Indians. Many took to Twitter to condemn the use of the image, which they said violated her privacy and displayed "insensitivity" in the wake of the tragedy.
One Twitter user said to the Times of India at the time: "The photo of Nidhi Chaphekar in your newspaper is in bad taste. Please keep in mind the modesty of a woman before publishing."