The Hove greengrocer who was left in a coma after a road rage attack by a cyclist is showing the first signs of recovery.
Tony Magdi, 52, of Portland Road, Hove, was floored by a punch just under three weeks ago, leaving him with serious head injuries.
He has been sedated at the Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath where this week staples put in his skull after an operation have been removed.
The sedation has been stopped, he has had a tracheotomy so he can breathe unaided, is making small movements and even squeezed a nurse’s hand with his left hand.
His temperature has also come down, indicating that the infection in his lungs is getting better, and he is yawning.
His childhood friend George Jeha and George’s wife Liz have been posting regular blog updates on Mr Magdi’s condition for his many wellwishers.
He is stable but still in a serious condition in intensive care.
Mr and Mrs Jeha said: “The sedation has been stopped and now they are waiting for him to come out of the coma.
“This may take some time as he has been deeply sedated for over two weeks now.”
On the blog, Mr and Mrs Jeha also wrote: “Reading all of the posts, there is a very positive message in all of them and that helps us all keep up our hope.
“Thank you everyone who has taken the time to post a comment and everyone who is thinking about and praying for Tony.”
One of the dozens of messages of support has come from the man who dialled 999.
Anton Savidis revealed that he too had once suffered a serious head injury and added that his recovery showed that there was always hope.
Mr Savidis said: “Tony has been on my mind every single day and I’ve just been praying and hoping that he is making progress.
“I know the path is long and winding.
“I myself had a very serious head injury 15 years ago that caused some brain damage and was life threatening.
“There is always hope for a full recovery for Tony as from my experience I am now 95 per cent back to normal and enjoying life to the full.”
Friends and well-wishers are drawing up a rota to visit Mr Magdi when he regains consciousness.
* Paul Lambeth, 35, of Stafford Road, Brighton, has been charged with attacking Mr Magdi, causing him grievous bodily harm. He is free on bail but has been ordered to wear an electronic tag by Brighton magistrates until his next appearance in court on Thursday 23 December.