AJAX star Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri has woken up after two years and nine months in a coma.
The 22-year-old Dutch ace collapsed on the pitch in July 2017 after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia attack.
Nouri is out of the coma he was in for almost three years after collapsing on the pitchCredit: Getty – Contributor The 22-year-old suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a result of the incidentCredit: Getty – Contributor It was feared Nouri would remain in a permanent vegetative state after collapsingCredit: Central European NewsHe sustained severe and permanent brain damage as a direct result of the incident.
Dutch website AD say Nouri is now awake and that he “sleeps, eats, frowns and burps but is very dependent”.
Abdelhak’s brother Abderrahim told AD that the footballer is “doing well” and lives in a house specially built for him.
The pair communicate not through words or signals but through raising their eyebrows.
Perhaps the most heartwarming news of all is that he can watch football again, and even reacts to it.
His father Mohammed said Appie and his family had been through a “serious ordeal”.
He added: “We have to take care of him at our very best. We try to do a lot ourselves.”
The news is all the more miraculous given the fact the family said in July 2017 that he had virtually no chance of recovery and was in a permanent vegetative state.
Abderrahim said back then: “He cannot walk, cannot talk, he does not recognise us, does not know who we are. He does not feel anything, he does not hear anything.
“According to the doctor he can never do all that again, he will never heal.”
But incredibly Appie is back communicating and spending time with his loved ones.
And even more remarkably is the fact he played a part in former Ajax star Frenkie de Jong’s arrival at Ajax and subsequent transfer to Barcelona.
De Jong said: “He talked to me a lot in a summer.
“When I sat with him, his mother came in. She then asked Appie, ‘Appie, where should Frenkie go? To Barcelona?’ As soon as she said that, his eyebrow rose. That was a very special moment.”
More to follow.