Derick Hougaard has taken another leap towards his recovery, this time ultimately coming off the ventilator, which assisted him in breathing.
The former Springboks player was admitted to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Saturday, 10 June, after being unresponsive in his Pretoria home by his girlfriend, Nadine.
The retired rugby player – diagnosed with respiratory pneumonia – was in a coma for almost two weeks.
In recent days, Derick was awoken from his coma and attempted to walk and talk, claims Nadine.
DERICK HOUGAARD REGAINS CONSCIOUSNESS, BREATHES ON HIS OWN
In a miraculous health update, Nadine revealed that Derick was officially off the ventilator.
She told Rapport that Derick was awake and back to his bubbly old self. She continued: “He has no brain damage, he can function, he can speak.”
Nadine added that while Derick still experienced pain in his lungs, he was eager to talk to his loved ones – albeit by whispering.
Nadine also shared with the publication the moment Derick regained consciousness.
She said: “After he came to, he cried. When I held his hand and prayed for him and praised and worshipped the Lord. Then he cried, there were tears, because only then did he realise how serious it was”.
The good news follows a Netwerk24 report that a toxicology report discovered “elevated levels” of toxin found in Derick’s bloodstream. This level has since dropped over time.
On social media, Nadine shared that Deick’s infection count had dropped, and his lung and brain functions were improving.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF A FULL RECOVERY?
According to the NHS, patients who wake up from a coma gradually gain consciousness. Like Derick, they may appear confused and want to walk and talk.
Some patients may fully recover, while others may be affected by a prolonged period of unconsciousness, which can affect brain functions. They may need physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychological assessment during their rehabilitation. Some may even require care for the rest of their lives.