The mother of a Sussex girl who is in a drug-induced coma says her daughter may soon be able to speak and eat properly for the first time in four years.
Amy will have her 21st birthday in the next couple of weeks
Amy Pickard was still a teenager when she collapsed from a heroin overdose in August 2001 in Hastings, East Sussex.
She has been in a coma ever since, but her mother Thelma Pickard said one of her nurses had seen an improvement in Amy's swallowing and breathing.
It means she can have a tracheostomy opening removed from her throat.
Amy Pickard has needed 24-hour care since collapsing from the overdose in a public toilet.
Her mother Thelma thinks there is now real hope for the future.
"I'm not grasping at straws because this is real life, this is my daughter's character and she is such a fighter that she wants to come back - otherwise she wouldn't," she said.
Amy was seven months pregnant at the time of her overdose, but her baby died five days after being born by Caesarean section.
Her boyfriend died a week later from a heroin overdose.