Rugby star Jerry Collins' orphaned daughter wakes up from coma

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Former All Blacks captain Jerry Collins' baby daughter Ayla has woken from a coma and is now able to bottle feed, her family have revealed. The three-month-old was critically injured in a car crash which tragically killed her father and mother Alana Madill in France on 5 June.

A statement released by Alana's sister Nora Madill said: "Ayla is able to perform basic functions, such as being able to breathe on her own and to accept bottle feeding. We remain thankful for her progress and optimistic for her future.

"We are still uncertain as to the extent of Ayla's injuries and we ask people to continue to pray for Ayla during her recovery."

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Jerry Collins was killed in a car crash in France on 5 June

Nora added that Ayla had needed surgery to relieve a build-up of fluid in her brain, but the operation had been a success and she was recovering well.

"Both our family and the Collins family appreciate the concern, support and love people have shown as a result of this tragedy," she added.

New Zealand born Jerry, who played for his country 48 times during his international career, reportedly collided with a bus on the A9 in the Herault region in the early hours of Friday 5 June.

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Jerry's daughter Ayla is recovering after being in an induced coma

The All Blacks official Twitter account expressed the team's "shock and sadness" at the news, while a number of other leading names from the sport also paid tribute to the 34-year-old following his tragic death.

"Just read about Jerry Collins & family!! In shock! Thoughts with all the family #greatbloke," Mike Tindall posted on Twitter.

Meanwhile Ben Cohen wrote: "So so SAD… Can't believe that Jerry Collins and partner Alana died in car crash in France – RIP."

The talented rugby player was remembered as a "gentle soul" with a huge heart at his funeral in his hometown of Porirua, north of Wellington.

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