A Keighley teacher who has been in a coma for 17 months is showing signs of recovery.

Adam Pickles’ parents are heartened by his efforts to communicate despite his condition.

His father Andrew said Adam was sometimes able to respond to family and friends with a smile.

He said: “It would be nice to think there is a miracle cure, but it’s not going to happen.

“It’s a long, slow journey and we’re taking it one step at a time.”

Adam, 41, was living in Thailand when he was attacked with an iron bar in May 2012.

Adam was in intensive care in a Thai hospital before moving first to London, then last July to a York care home. Since then his parents Andrew and Adele, who live in Leeds, have visited him every day.

Mr Pickles told the Keighley News that doctors had classed Adam as “minimally conscious”.

He said: “The nurses and staff know when Adam is happy or in distress. When friends visit he recognises their voice and smiles.

“Some days you get nothing, some days he will respond, but there are signs that he knows we’re there.

“One time when Adele was there he took hold of her hand and kissed it.

“We went a long time when there was nothing so to get this sort of thing is exciting.”

After the attack in Thailand Mr and Mrs Pickles had to remortgage their family home to fund Adam’s huge medical costs.

They believe the total cost was about £130,000, including up to £2,000 a day for intensive care in Thailand, and £68,000 for an air ambulance to bring Adam back to the UK.

Mr Pickles this week paid tribute to Adam’s friends who together donated £100,000 towards the family’s costs. He said: “We told them that we would have been in a real mess without their help, both financially and in keeping our spirits up.”

Details of the fundraising campaign are available by visiting the website http://adampickles.blogspot.co.uk.