Ajax player Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri has woken up after two years and nine months in a coma.
Nouri, 22, collapsed on the pitch in July 2017 after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia attack.
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He sustained severe and permanent brain damage as a direct result of the incident.
But according to Dutch website AD Nouri is now awake and that he “sleeps, eats, frowns and burps but is very dependent”.
Nouri’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 Nouri 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 Nouri is back communicating and spending time with his loved ones.
And even more remarkable 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.”
Nouri was considered the next Ajax superstar when he collapsed during a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in the Austrian Alps.
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