Ajax youngster Nouri returns home

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Abdelhak Nouri has returned home for the first time since 2017 after being placed in an induced coma as a 20 year old and suffering permanent brain damage.

The Ajax academy product suffered the cardiac arrest in July 2017 during a preseason friendly against Werder Bremen and he suffered serious brain damage and has been in hospital ever since.

His brother Abderrahim spoke to Dutch TV and gave a positive update on his situation as Nouri, now 22 years old, has been moved home with his family.

“He’s just awake. He sleeps, he sneezes, he eats, he burps, but it’s not like he gets out of bed,” Abderrahim said. “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.”

The Dutch-Moroccan, affectionately known as Appie, was one of the brightest products at Ajax and at the age of 20 he had broken into the first team.

In 2018 Ajax admitted the situation could have been handled better as club doctor Don de Winter was fired. Ajax admitted that a defibrillator should have been used sooner and had UEFA’s guidelines been followed then “it’s possible that Abdelhak would have come out in a better condition. This isn’t certain, but it’s a possibility. We recognize our responsibility and liability for the consequences of this,” CEO Edwin van der Sar said in a statement.

Appie’s father, Mohammed, revealed the family now do a lot of the nursing work themselves and his son is responding well to be in familiar surroundings at home.

“The intention is that Appie keeps getting better,” Appie said. “We have to take care of him as best we can. We try to do a lot ourselves. We have less nurses and help in the home now. We do a lot ourselves.”