Former Ajax wonderkid Abdelhak 'Appie' Nouri has stunned doctors by 'communicating' nearly three years after falling into a coma after collapsing on a football pitch.
The Dutchman suffered a cardiac arrhythmia attack during Ajax’s pre-season friendly clash with Werder Bremen back in 2017 and sustained severe and permanent brain damage.
Nouri's family asked for privacy in the days and weeks following the incident and messages of support flooded in for the talented midfielder across the world.
The 22-year-old was kept alive on life support but is now said to be recovering in a house built uniquely for his needs, where he 'sleeps, eats, frowns and burps' but remains very dependent.
Nouri's brother Abderrahim confirmed the news on Dutch TV show 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's no longer in a coma. He's very bedridden and still very dependent on us."
The pair communicate not through words or signals but through raising their eyebrows.
His father Mohammed said Appie, who joined the Dutch club aged seven, and his family had been through a 'serious ordeal'.
"We have to take care of him at our very best. We try to do a lot ourselves."
At the time of the incident, doctors claimed he had no chance of recovery and was set to remain in a permanent vegetative state.