Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life after suffering a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on Sunday. The German underwent brain surgery and remains in critical condition, with the doctors refusing to comment on his prognosis.
The former Ferrari and Mercedes driver was skiing with his 14-year-old son and others in an off-piste area between two marked runs above Méribel when he fell on Sunday morning and banged his head against a rock.
Despite the fact that he was wearing a helmet, the shock was powerful and by the time he arrived in hospital in Moutiers he went into an induced coma. After being stabilized, he was moved to a larger hospital in Grenoble, where he underwent brain surgery.
Professor Jean-Francois Payen told reporters that if Schumacher had not been wearing a protective helmet “he wouldn’t be here now.” Doctors explained they had to operate him urgently to release some pressure in his head. “We cannot tell you what the outcome will be yet,” the doctors told reporters on Monday morning. “All we can do is wait,” they added. According to neurosurgeon Stephan Chabardes, a post-operative scan had shown “diffuse haemorrhagic legions” on both sides of Schumacher’s brain.
The seven-time Formula 1 champion is kept in a coma at low temperature to facilitate his recovery. Schumacher’s spokeswoman said in a statement: “We ask for understanding that we cannot give out continuous information about his health. He was wearing a helmet and was not alone. No one else was involved in the fall.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Formula 1 legend and his family during these very difficult times.
By Dan Mihalascu
Story References: BBC