A speedway rider left fighting for life after a horrific crash has awoken from a 91-day coma.
Now, three months later, he has finally emerged from his coma. Ricky is able to speak, although his memory is “scattered”, is yet to regain full strength in his left side and is not yet able to eat or swallow.
Friends, family and fans last night welcomed the decision while club bosses described the improvement in his condition as “remarkable”.
Ricky’s father, Dave, who has maintained a bedside vigil with family members since the rider sustained his injuries, said his son woke up and started talking to him.
He said: “He was mumbling a bit but aware of where he was and to an extent what has happened to him.
“The lad is by no means back to being who we all know, and has not yet regained full strength down the left side of his body, but although he cannot yet eat or swallow the improvement in his condition is remarkable.
“His memory of events is, understandably after a 91-day sleep, as yet scattered. This is caused by post-traumatic stresses and some amnesia.”
Ricky, 31 from Salford in Manchester, joined the Premier League team last year from Sheffield Tigers and is its captain.
He was competing at the meeting against Scunthorpe Scorpions on August 2 when his bike hit a wall on the track.
Ricky was left unconscious and taken to hospital in Hull, before later being moved to one in his home city.
Yesterday morning, club bosses announced that their rider had finally emerged from his coma.
Berwick’s team manager Ian Rae said: “We are delighted to report he has now – to an extent – ‘woken up.’
“Ricky is officially out of his coma. He is partially awake and able to communicate with those around him.
“He will now undergo intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy at Trafford General Hospital in Manchester.”
Dave said Ricky sometimes thinks he is only 17, yet at other times can remember the days leading up to the Scunthorpe meeting and can even recall being in his van with teammate Matty Wethers just beforehand.
Dave said: “He even thought he had only been asleep for two days or so. We have told him about all the messages of support and fund-raising, and hope it will not be long before Ricky is able to thank everyone himself.”
Mr Rae added: “So do we. November is often a cold, grey month, but this news has brought sunshine back into all our lives.
“This is the greatest possible news. Great to have you back, skipper.”
Supporters of the Bandits have organised activities since Ricky’s accident to raise funds for their injured rider, with wristbands sold and events held.