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Dublin: 11°C Saturday 19 September 2020

Ajax youngster out of coma over a year after suffering heart attack

Abdelhak Nouri collapsed on the pitch back in July 2017, but the 21-year-old is showing signs of improvement.

Nouri in action in 2016.
Nouri in action in 2016.
Image: Thomas Eisenhuth/DPA/PA Images

THE BROTHER OF former Ajax youngster Abdelhak Nouri has offered a positive update on the condition of the 21-year-old following his on-field collapse back in July 2017.

The midfielder, who was a product of the famed academy system in Amsterdam, suffered a heart attack during a friendly clash with Werder Bremen.

He has been left with severe and permanent brain damage, with doctors having to put him into an induced coma as they sought to stabilise his condition.

Nouri is now awake again, with his family encouraged by the progress he is making through a “very difficult” time.

Abderrahim Nouri told NOS: “His neurological situation is better than a few months ago.

“Physically it’s very difficult, though. His physical condition is in decline because he doesn’t move. He’s lying in bed most of the time and he can’t move his body on his own. Only his head.

“Sometimes we get him out of bed to let him sit in his wheelchair. Earlier, that was really hard. At the beginning that was going really well, but later it became more difficult, with lots of ups and downs.

His immune system is weakened and it fluctuates a lot. I don’t want to go into details, but he has had a hard time. That’s normal for someone who has had brain damage. Those were very tough times.”

Abderrahim also reported that his brother is displaying greater awareness of those around him, allowing basic communication to be carried out.

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Ajax v Nice - UEFA Champions League - Third Round Qualifying - Second Leg - Amsterdam Arena A banner of Nouri displayed at the Amsterdam Arena last season. Source: Mike Egerton

He added: “At the beginning we couldn’t communicative with him, when he was in coma, with his eyes closed.

“But later he became more awake. So now there’s a way to communicate with him. If you ask him anything and you say ‘open your mouth’ or ‘move your eyebrow’, then he can do that.”

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