Former Springbok flyhalf Derick Hougaard emerges out of coma

Former Springbok flyhalf Derick Hougaard emerges out of coma

After being in a coma in a Pretoria hospital for almost two weeks, former Springbok flyhalf Derick Hougaard's condition has taken a turn for the better.

The 40-year-old, who is fighting respiratory pneumonia in the Intensive Care Unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, is conscious after he was initially given a 50 per cent chance of waking from his coma.

The eight-Test Springbok, who represented the Bulls in more than 100 matches and also had stints with Premiership sides Leicester Tigers and Saracens, was found unconscious by his girlfriend, South African singer Nadine, on Saturday, June 10 and admitted to hospital.

However, late on Thursday afternoon she revealed via a social media post that Hougaard˜s situation has improved and that he is responding to medical staff.

"With incredible gratitude we can share the following with you: Derick has opened his eyes! His infection count has decreased and he is receiving new antibiotics," she wrote on Facebook.

It has not been revealed yet what led to Hougaard's condition.

Nadine said via her Facebook post that Hougaard's carbon dioxide levels in his blood have decreased considerably.

"His intake of oxygen is getting better every day," she added.

"He is responding to questions and his brain function is looking good. He can't talk with the pipes in his throat, is in pain and very tired. But we are indescribably thankful and excited that he opened his eyes."

She also revealed that there were other complications.

"He is being treated, but the sedation has been decreased. We are praying for his lungs to heal completely," she wrote.

"A thousand thanks for all the prayers and belief and love! All honour is to our Heavenly Father! Derick's family is also grateful for all the caring, love and prayers."