Former Ajax and Dutch midfielder, Abdelhak Nouri, is out of a coma after two years and eight months, his family has revealed.
Nouri suffered permanent brain damage during a pre-season friendly between Ajax and Werder Breman back in 2017 after suffering cardiac arrhythmia attack.
“Appie”, as he is fondly called, was put into a medically-induced coma as doctors tried to stabilise him in hospital, before concluding he had sustained severe damage to his brain.
Speaking on Dutch TV, Abderrahim, Nouri’s brother, revealed that the former Ajax player is now able to sit up, watch football with the rest of his family and convey emotion, having been set up in a new home specially designed to cater for his needs.
“Good,” Abderrahim replied when asked how his brother was on De Wereld Draait Door.
“He has not been home very long, we take care of him there now. I must say that since he is at home it is going much better than before in the hospital. He is aware of where he is, he is back in a familiar environment with his family.
“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.
“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.”
Nouri’s father, Mohammed added: “We have to take care of him at our very best. We try to do a lot ourselves.”
The Dutch midfielder rose through the youth ranks at the Johan Cruyff ArenA before graduating to the senior squad in 2015.
He went on to take in nine competitive first-team appearances for Ajax, before his career was cruelly cut short during the club’s pre-season tour of the Austrian Alps in July 2017.