“He had tears in his eyes as he held the phone to his ear,” said Mr Taylor’s stepfather, Simon Moore. “She asked him something and he said a silent 'yes’. Then tears were coming down his face. It was brilliant.”
Mr Moore said his stepson was now in a low-awareness coma, which meant he showed signs of responding to certain stimuli. “He’s really come on the past three weeks,” he said. “Heather calls Anda while we are with Mathew and as soon as he hears her voice he lifts his hand for the phone. He listens to her and you can see this change in him.
Mathew Taylor had been teaching English in Indonesia for 18 months (Newsteam)
“We spend most of our days at hospital and some days are good and others bad, but we take what we can get. We are just happy he is responding.”
Luke Griggs, a spokesman for the brain injury charity Headway, said Mr Taylor appeared to have benefited from a coma arousal programme.
“These carefully planned periods of stimulation, in the form of sound, touch, smell and taste, are combined with periods of complete rest in order not to overload the person’s senses,” he said.
“While each individual case is different, we have heard of several examples of people waking from comas and going on to make good recoveries and live happy, fulfilled lives.”
He added: “The amount and type of information a person can process while in a reduced state of consciousness will vary from case to case and accurately diagnosing someone’s level of consciousness is notoriously difficult. However, examples like this demonstrate that coma arousal, or stimulation, programmes may well be effective.”
Mr Taylor did not have medical insurance at the time of his accident and his family had to raise £100,000 to pay for treatment, which included having his eye socket reconstructed using a bone from his thigh.
Mr Taylor’s biological father, Darrell Taylor, used £50,000 of his savings while Mr Moore remortgaged his house in Overseal, Derbyshire, to raise the remaining £50,000.
Miss Nurul, 27, was granted a three-month visa to visit her fiancé, but after it expired she was forced to return to Bali, where she studies Dutch literature at the University of Indonesia.