The Jet Airways attendant, who was wounded in the Brussels attacks and whose image was published in newspapers around the world, returned to Mumbai on Friday after spending more than 40 days at a Belgium hospital.
Sources said Nidhi Chaphekar arrived on a Jet Airways flight at 7am and was taken to the Breach Candy Hospital from the airport. Her husband and brother-in-law accompanied her back home.
In a statement, Jet Airways said Chaphekar has made significant recovery from her injuries sustained in the blasts at Brussel’s Zaventem Airport.
“She is in good spirits and is very happy to be back with her family. Nidhi will now undergo treatment in Mumbai as part of the next phase of her recovery programme outlined by doctors,” the airlines said.
“Jet Airways continues to provide all the necessary support to Nidhi and her family during this time. Our priority is to ensure that she continues to receive the best medical care and attention so she can resume her normal life at the earliest possible,” it added.
A photograph of a dazed Chaphekar taken right after the two massive suicide blasts that hit Zaventem Airport on March 22 became an iconic image of the attacks.
The photograph, shared by millions on social media, taken by local photojournalist Ketevan Kardava showed the 40-year-old mother of two in the tattered remains of her yellow Jet Airways uniform, missing a shoe and with blood running down her face.
Chaphekar was being treated at Belgium’s Grande Hospital de Charleroi Hospital for 15% burns and a broken foot with medically approved ‘sedation’ for a painless recovery.
Her children would meet her for the first time since she was injured in the attacks, a relative said.
Three bombs had ripped through Brussels airport and a city metro station, leaving over 30 people dead and more than 250 wounded in coordinated strikes that came days after the prime suspect in the November Paris attacks was arrested in the city.