Coma teacher back on ventilator despite signs of awareness

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A YORKSHIRE teacher left in a coma after being attacked with a metal bar has shown signs of awareness and lifted his arm while his favourite Jimi Hendrix track Hey Joe was played.

Adam Pickles’s friends have endured a rollercoaster week of emotions one month on from the Thailand assault that nearly killed him.

After making good progress with periods of unaided breathing, the 40-year-old, who was left for dead, has now been put back on a ventilator.

Medics have had to shelve plans to move Mr Pickles, originally from Keighley, from intensive care to a high-dependency unit. He is also showing signs of a fever and traces of pneumonia in his lower lungs.

The setback follows a series of positive developments in a week where donations towards his care in Bangkok hit £41,000.

Mr Pickles’s heart rate strengthened, he was thought to be making eye movements and responding to voices and, in a breakthrough moment, lifted his arm in response to a Hendrix song.

His father Andrew was asking the keen guitarist to imagine playing the chords to the track, which was on near his bedside, when he suddenly moved his arm across his body.

Andrew, 62, said: “These are small steps but to us they are massive; they are what we have been hoping and praying for.

“The doctors had to put Adam back on the ventilator as he got too tired. We are back to monitoring the situation carefully.”

Adam moved out to Thailand seven years ago. He teaches at Regent’s School in Pattaya, where he is head of English.

Close friend Katie Jones, of Leeds, said: “Adam’s condition had shown signs of improvement and he is without a doubt a fighter.”