A Moroccan prodigy, Abdelhak Nouri of soccer club Ajax Amsterdam, fell into a coma after suffering brain damage in 2017 but has awoken after nearly three years, his brother has told Dutch television.
Nouri, also known by his nickname Appie, is now able to communicate with smiles and also with his eyes.
Abderrahim, Appie’s brother, reportedly told the television network: “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.”
Abderrahim continued: “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 very bedridden and still very dependent on us.”
Two years and nine months ago, while Ajax were involved in a preseason game against Werder Bremen of Germany, Appie had a cardiac arrest which led to what has been described as permanent brain damage.
Then just 20, the Dutch-born Moroccan had only started a career and taken the path hundreds before him had done from the Ajax Amsterdam youth soccer academy.
Doctors said Appie would never play again. But that was even the least of his troubles as he was battling for his life. Ajax Amsterdam were forced to admit that the first aid they admitted to Appie when he collapsed could have been better. The head of the medical team at the soccer club was thus fired.
The club acknowledged their culpability and committed to the task of nursing Appie back to health.
Back in the Amsterdam soccer club where he learned his trade, Appie was a popular figure with the rest of his agemates. He was also marked by the coaches for an exciting career.
Even though his football career is virtually impossible now, it is thought Appie would still maintain a close relationship with Ajax Amsterdam, if and when he gets better.