STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

'There is communication,' says brother of brain-damaged Ajax star Appie Nouri

The family of a promising Dutch footballer who was left brain damaged after collapsing during a game in 2017...

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 1:46 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2018 1:46 PM

The family of a promising Dutch footballer who was left brain damaged after collapsing during a game in 2017 say they have been encouraged by small improvements in his condition.

Abdelhak "Appie" Nouri was placed in an induced coma at a hospital in Austria after collapsing during Ajax's preseason friendly match against Werder Bremen on July 8 as the Dutch club prepared for the 2017/2018 season.

Brain injuries

Comas

Diseases and disorders

Football (Soccer)

Head injuries

Health and medical

Neurological disorders and injuries

Sports and recreation

Wounds and injuries

In the days following his collapse, Ajax said that Nouri's brain damage was "serious and permanent" and that the then 20-year-old had no chance of a full recovery.

However, Nouri's 25-year-old brother Abderrahim told Holland's national broadcaster NOS on Sunday that "there is communication."

"Not in the beginning. He was just in coma and had his eyes closed. Slowly he was waking up a bit more and more," he said.

"But since December and January, his awareness has become a little better and there is a form of communication. When you asked him something, he opened his mouth or confirmed he understood by raising an eyebrow."

READ: 'A moment for me to prove people wrong,' says Usain Bolt

READ: Has the digital age changed football fans?

Nouri played 15 league and cup games for Ajax in 2016-17, scoring one goal in a Dutch Cup tie. Born in Amsterdam to parents of Moroccan descent, he also played for Holland's Under-15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 teams.

After Nouri collasped his family were told he wouldn't be able to talk, eat or move independently because he had been starved of oxygen.

"The doctor in Austria told us the diagnosis," Abderrahim told NOS. "Your brother or son will be like this, this and this and won't be able to do this, this this. That was a real shock.

"Of course, I believe in science and I believe in what I see, but if we talk about the future, I think: time will teach us. We believe he is capable of anything. Nothing is difficult for him. And we keep our hopes up. For people from outside that won't understand: you just need to keep hope."

'Ups and downs'

The player's family are currently renovating and adapting a house for the former Ajax star close to the parental home in Amsterdam.

"If I compare it with before, I would say it goes much better than before, and then I mean neurologically," added Abderrahim.

"Neurologically, he is much better than before. Physically, it's a little more difficult and we see a little deterioration but that's pure because he is not moving. Sometimes he comes out of bed to sit in his wheelchair. That was more difficult before. But he has ups and downs. His resistance and immune system are very low. It swings a lot.

"Since day one there has been a difference from when we see him compared to the doctors. In the beginning it was true that we were not allowed to stay with him for a long time, as these are the hospital's rules. But the doctors saw that we as a family had a lot of influence on Abdelhak.

"He became calmer. He recognized us. And he was quieter with us then with the doctors. You reassure him, he hears a familiar voice. Especially if my mum and dad are with him. We're staying 24/7 with him, because it does him good."

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

Dutch club Ajax did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

In June the club admitted to providing 'inadequate' on-field medical treatment for Nouri following his collapse.

"We recognize our responsibility and liability for the consequences of this," the Dutch club's general manager Edwin van der Sar told reporters. "For a long time we were convinced that Abdelhak had received the best possible care on the field."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61516

Reported Deaths: 1701
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19472835
Ramsey7658267
Dakota4480106
Anoka3739115
Stearns290620
Washington215545
Nobles17656
Olmsted174723
Scott157419
Mower11032
Rice10388
Blue Earth9275
Wright8925
Carver8733
Clay78540
Sherburne7328
Kandiyohi6981
St. Louis57019
Todd4262
Lyon4253
Freeborn3601
Steele3512
Nicollet34213
Benton3203
Watonwan3080
Winona26416
Beltrami2410
Crow Wing23914
Le Sueur2241
Martin2075
Chisago2041
Goodhue1979
McLeod1970
Otter Tail1973
Cottonwood1780
Becker1611
Pipestone1579
Polk1544
Waseca1490
Itasca14712
Douglas1431
Carlton1380
Unassigned13441
Pine1290
Dodge1280
Isanti1280
Murray1221
Chippewa1061
Morrison931
Wabasha920
Brown892
Faribault870
Jackson860
Meeker862
Rock850
Sibley842
Koochiching793
Pennington751
Cass732
Mille Lacs713
Fillmore650
Renville655
Lincoln580
Grant563
Swift551
Roseau520
Yellow Medicine520
Pope480
Norman410
Aitkin401
Houston400
Kanabec371
Redwood360
Hubbard340
Wilkin343
Marshall290
Mahnomen271
Wadena270
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake210
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49024

Reported Deaths: 930
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10351207
Woodbury372752
Black Hawk313466
Linn239988
Johnson210719
Dallas188835
Buena Vista179412
Scott172714
Dubuque168631
Marshall144626
Pottawattamie132526
Story116714
Wapello90433
Muscatine84848
Webster8138
Crawford7303
Sioux6373
Cerro Gordo63417
Warren5691
Tama55329
Jasper47926
Wright4731
Plymouth4639
Clinton4103
Dickinson3824
Louisa37814
Washington30010
Boone2593
Hamilton2481
Franklin24110
Bremer2277
Clarke2023
Clay1961
Carroll1931
Emmet1924
Des Moines1862
Hardin1840
Shelby1841
Marion1740
Benton1601
Poweshiek1598
Floyd1572
Jackson1561
Allamakee1554
Mahaska14017
Cedar1331
Guthrie1325
Jones1322
Buchanan1291
Henry1274
Hancock1222
Madison1222
Butler1212
Humboldt1181
Lee1173
Pocahontas1162
Delaware1151
Lyon1142
Harrison1091
Cherokee1081
Clayton1043
Iowa981
Taylor980
Winneshiek971
Page940
Monona910
Kossuth900
Mills890
Jefferson860
Palo Alto860
Sac850
Fayette840
Winnebago840
Calhoun832
Osceola830
Grundy791
Mitchell780
Union771
Cass741
Monroe747
Lucas714
Worth660
Davis602
Montgomery594
Chickasaw540
Appanoose493
Howard490
Fremont420
Greene420
Keokuk371
Van Buren361
Ida310
Adair300
Audubon281
Decatur230
Ringgold221
Wayne201
Adams160
Unassigned30
Rochester
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 52°
Mason City
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 53°
Albert Lea
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 57°
Austin
52° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 52°
Charles City
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 52°
Clouds clear tonight, tracking sunshine for Tuesday!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Car crashes into Mason City home

Image

Dangerous week for cyclists

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast - Monday

Image

Iowa fall practices begin Monday

Image

How you can raise funds with a local tech companies app

Image

Sara's 6pm Forecast - Monday

Image

Saving A Historic Church

Image

Rochester International Airport announces new service

Image

Primary Election Day is Tomorrow

Image

Clocktower becoming permanent in Rochester

Community Events