Last summer Ajax's rising star Abdelhak Nouri dropped to the ground in the 72nd minute of a friendly game versus Werder Breman. Nouri was regarded as a very talented young 21 year old footballer who was touted by many to become a global superstar such was his ability.
News from the family
Abdelhak is making slow progress according to his family after what turned out to be a cardiac arrhythmia event in that pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in July last year. Austrian doctors reported massive brain damage after Nouri woke from an induced coma, with his family later admitting he was in a vegetative state. Now however it has been announced that Nouri's condition is stable and that he is making small steps of progress. Abderrahim Nouri who is the brother of Abdelhak said "If I compared it with before, then he is much better at the moment. His neurological status is better than months ago. Physically it is very difficult. There is a decline. That is purely because he does not move and is bedridden. He cannot move his own body with his own strength, only his head. In the beginning it was not like that, he had his eyes closed. But he woke up bit by bit. Since December and January, his awareness has improved a bit and since also a form of communication is possible. If you ask him things, like 'open your mouth' or 'confirm this with your eyebrows', he can do it. Before that was difficult. In an earlier stage it went well, afterwards it was difficult again, a lot of ups and downs. His immune system is weakened. It is fluctuating quite a bit. I don't want to go into details, but he had a very rough time. That is normal for someone who has brain damage."
Life is so fragile
Abdrerrahim spoke about the prospects for the future life of his brother stating "The base of the brain is mostly damaged and is not functioning. According to the doctor he can never do all that [walking, talking and feeling] again, he will never heal. But I trust Allah. May it be like that in the end I will accept it. He is a great guy. Everybody, the whole world, is talking great things about him."
One minute regarded as one of the most promising footballers on the planet and then in an instance his whole life turned on it's head. Now reliant on people around him to survive for the rest of his life. This story is heartbreaking, a cruel reminder to appreciate every single moment in life and always see things for what they truly are in the context of life. Best wishes to Abdelhak and his family. Thoughts and prayers are with you.