A Scottish judo star critically injured in a motorbike accident in Vietnam has woken from her coma and reached for her father’s hand.
Commonwealth medallist Stephanie Inglis, 27, from Inverness, has been in hospital since the crash last month but has now responded to her family for the first time.
This is incredible. A girl who was written off for dead three weeks ago has now been given hope, her doctors are starting to whisper that there’s potential for a full recovery.Khalid Gehlan
When they arrived at her hospital bed on Tuesday, her parents, Robert and Alison, found her with one eye open.
Her mother asked Stephanie to blink if she could hear them and she did so, before reaching out for her father’s hand.
The sport star’s supporters are celebrating the latest milestone in her recovery.
A post on the SaveSteph Facebook page said: “Today has been filled with extremes of emotion for Stephanie, her parents and family.
“Upon arrival at the hospital this morning they found Stephanie with her left eye fully open and watching what was going on, when she saw Robert and Alison she started to move her face. Alison asked her: ‘Stephanie, if you can hear us and know we are here, blink’, and she did.
“Alison told Robert to hold her hand and as he went to do so Stephanie lifted her hand for Robert to take it.
“And then Stephanie began to cry, I can’t comprehend what this must of done (sic) to her parents on one hand the joy they felt was extreme, on the other they have never felt such sadness.
“They wanted to know if she was in pain, and had so many other questions to ask but instead they just told her she was ok, she was going to make it, they were there for her and so are many other people who are fighting this fight with her.”
Ms Inglis’ childhood friend and judo competitor Khalid Gehlan added: “This is incredible. A girl who was written off for dead three weeks ago has now been given hope, her doctors are starting to whisper that there’s potential for a full recovery.”
The Glasgow 2014 silver medallist suffered head injuries when her skirt caught in the wheel of a motorcycle taxi and pulled her off the bike.
She was travelling to work teaching English in Ha Long when the accident happened on May 12.
Doctors in Vietnam initially gave her a 1% chance of survival but she has since been transferred to hospital in Bangkok where she is gradually being brought round from her medically-induced coma.
More than 7,000 people had donated more than £288,000 to a fundraising campaign set up by Mr Gehlan to help pay for her medical bills as her travel insurance had been deemed invalid and her hospital stay was costing £2,000 a day.
He urged supporters to continue donating.