Danny Hodgson: Comatose soccer star ‘opens eyes’ after being in coma for two weeks

Staff writerThe West Australian
Danny Hodgson has woken from a two-week coma.
Camera IconDanny Hodgson has woken from a two-week coma.

The parents of a Perth soccer player who opened his eyes for the first time after being in a coma for two weeks have revealed they are grateful for the improvement but say there is still a long way to go.

Danny Hodgson has been in a critical condition in Royal Perth Hospital since he was brutally bashed at Perth Train Station on September 5.

A statement released this morning on behalf of Danny’s parents Nicola and Peter says while their son, who was the victim of an alleged coward punch attack, had opened his eyes he was “still in ICU at Royal Perth Hospital in a critical condition”.

“While we are grateful to see some small improvement in Danny’s condition the future is uncertain and we must keep travelling this journey day by day, sometimes hour by hour,” they said.

“Danny is experiencing breathing difficulties and an infection and blood clots remain a constant threat.”

The statement said it was important that the family, along with Danny’s girlfriend Jess, remain “grounded and realistic” about his condition and the future.

We are eternally grateful for the expert medical care and support from the team at the Royal Perth Hospital ICU,” the parents of the 26-year-old said.

“Please keep Danny in your prayers Western Australia.

“He will need every ounce of strength and iron will to keep fighting over the next few days.”

His friend Steve Burton said he and Danny’s girlfriend Jess were overjoyed by the small sign of progress.

“The surgeons are pretty happy with his progress. He is responding to commands like squeezing hands and he is breathing on his own with some machine-assistance,” Mr Burton told the BBC last night.

“His girlfriend Jess said they were open for about 20 minutes. It’s all progress.”

Perth soccer player Danny Hodgson.
Camera IconPerth soccer player Danny Hodgson. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Danny’s parents Nicola and Peter are in their last week of hotel quarantine after flying over from the UK and sent their son the “healing power of love” at his birthday on the weekend.

The couple shared a message to their son which read:

“Danny, on your 26th birthday, our gift to you is our belief in your courage, your strength, and the healing power of love,” they wrote.

“With the outpouring of love coming to you from (Danny’s girlfriend) Jess, family, friends, the football world, and the people of Western Australia, it won’t be long before you are back on the field.

“You’ve got this son. Love Mum and Dad. XX”

Peter and Nicola Hodgson who are quarantining at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
Camera IconPeter and Nicola Hodgson who are quarantining at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

Manchester United stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Dean Henderson also sent Danny touching get well video messages for his birthday and pledge support on the behalf of the whole Manchester United FC.

“Hi Danny I just heard about your story, I hope you get well soon,” Ronaldo says in the footage.

“I invite you to come to one of our games in Manchester.”

He added “get well soon my friend — take care”, while winking and holding up a fist.

VideoThe Manchester United player has recorded a heartfelt message for the injured soccer player.

Dean Henderson — who played junior football with Danny in the UK — said he couldn’t wait for his childhood friend to get better and meet the team.

“Danny I just wish you all the best mate — stay strong, stay in there, you’ll get through this I promise,” he said.

“Can’t wait to get you over to a game and meet the boys — I’ve told them all about you. We’re all in your corner as a club and as a team.

“We wish you all the very best — I love you to bits”

VideoThe Manchester United player has recorded a message for Danny who remains in hospital.

A 15-year-old boy has been charged over the attack.

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