Ajax’s Nouri out of coma, but brain damage unchanged
Amsterdam, Netherlands - Stricken Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri, who suffered serious, lasting brain damage after collapsing during a friendly, has been transferred out of intensive care, and can breathe on his own, the club said on Tuesday.
The 20 year old is being cared for at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, where he was brought on July 14 from a hospital in Austria.
"He is no longer in an induced coma and has full respiratory functions," the club said, in a statement issued in the name of Nouri's family. But it added soberly that "his condition further remains unchanged from previous updates and is stable, but with serious and permanent brain damage."
Tributes have poured in from across The Netherlands and from abroad for the youngster, affectionately known as Appie, who joined the Amsterdam club at age seven and was a promising prospect.
Nouri suffered irregular heart problems in a pre-season friendly against German side Werder Bremen in Austria on July 8 and collapsed. He was resuscitated and flown to an Innsbruck hospital by helicopter.
At first the news seemed positive, but hopes for a quick recovery were shattered when Ajax later announced he had suffered massive brain damage, most due to a lack of oxygen.
Dozens of visitors have flocked to the Amsterdam hospital grounds to pay tribute to Nouri since he arrived back in the country on July 14.
A large hedge 100m from the entrance is decked with Ajax scarves, flowers, poems, children's drawings and Ajax shirts bearing Nouri's No 34, all accompanied by the slogan '#StayStrongAppie'.
The youngster, who broke into the first team last season and had made nine appearances in the Dutch top flight, will not be forgotten at the Amsterdam Arena, despite not being able to play again.
Scarves, flowers, and other items are placed by the hospital where the Abdelhak Nouri is receiving treatment in Amsterdam, Netherlands