Ajax and Netherlands midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has awaken from a coma after two years and eight months, his family has confirmed.
The Ajax player had undergone severe and permanent brain damage after he collapsed in a friendly game against Werder Bremen on July 8, 2017.
Nouri was treated on the field during the game at Lindenstadion in Hippach, Austria – which was subsequently abandoned – before a trauma helicopter arrived and the 20-year-old was taken to hospital.
According to his brother Abderrahim, ‘Appie’, as he is fondly known, is doing well and is now being treated at home.
“He is aware of where he is, he is back in a familiar environment with his family. He’s no longer in a coma. He’s just awake,” said Abderrahim in a special edition of Dutch TV show De Wereld Draait Door.
“He sleeps, he sneezes, he eats, he burps, but it’s not like he gets out of bed. He’s very bedridden and still very dependent on us.
“On his good days, there is a form of communication, for example, confirmation with his eyebrows or a smile. But you notice that he can’t last that very long.
“We talk to him like he’s not sick. We take him into our conversations and we watch football with him in the living room, for example.
“Then he watches. You notice that he likes that very much. He often shows emotions. Sometimes he is emotional, but often there is also a smile.
“That does us good. That makes you really appreciate a smile.”