F1 Champ Schumacher Leaves Hospital

Reportedly defies odds, out of a coma.

by on Jun.16, 2014

F1 legend Michael Schumacher attempted a comeback with Mercedes but retired permanently in 2012.

Nearly six months after suffering a devastating injury in a skiing accident, Formula One record-holder Michael Schumacher has left a French hospital to begin a “long phase of rehabilitation,” according to his manager.

While specific details on Schumacher’s health were not released, it was confirmed that the racing legend has emerged from the coma that doctors induced when Schumacher was rushed to a hospital after falling and hitting his head on a rock during a family vacation in the Alps.

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“The family…wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes,” said manager Sabine Kehm in a statement. “We are sure it helped him.” She added that, “For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye.”

The news that Schumacher had left the hospital in Grenoble, France came as the first official word on his status since early April when it was announced that the 45-year-old “Schummy,” as fans often called him, was experiencing “moments of consciousness and awakening.”

The fall that occurred at the Meribel ski resort on December 29th was severe enough to split his helmet. Rushed to Grenoble, doctors operated to remove numerous brain clots, though some were considered too deep to reach by surgery. They then put Schumacher into a coma to reduce the risk of swelling, an often fatal problem with closed head injuries.

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In the weeks and months after the crash, various medical experts were quoted by the media as warning that the longer Schumacher remained in a coma the less likely he was to ever emerge and, if he did, to make a full recovery.

Just how far along he has come was not revealed by either the family nor by the hospital in Grenoble, though that medical center did note that Schumacher has now been moved to a separate hospital in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

It had previously been reported – though not confirmed by the family – that a separate medical center had been set up in the family’s home in Gland, Switzerland where Schumacher lives with his wife Corinna Betsch and two children.

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A report in the Associated Press warned that while Schumacher might now be capable of functioning without life support equipment, the need for rehabilitation suggests there’s been long-term side effects of his injury,” according to Dr. Tipu Aziz, a professor of neurosurgery at Oxford University’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Schumacher won a record seven Formula One world championships while driving for the Ferrari team, earning him a reputation as one of – if not the – best drivers the sport had ever seen. He briefly retired in 2006 before returning for three years with the Mercedes-Benz team. He retired permanently after three less stellar years.

“Encouraging news on Michael’s condition this morning. We couldn’t ask for a better start to the week. #KeepFightingMichael,” tweeted the Mercedes team after learning of Schumacher’s move.

The fact that he survived such a deadly sport with only modest injuries of the years is just one of the ironies about Schumacher’s current health problems.  But he also helped innovate some of the safety features used in Formula One – notably, the first lightweight carbon fiber helmet. A prototype was tested in 2004 by having it run over by a tank. It survived intact.

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One Response to “F1 Champ Schumacher Leaves Hospital”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    Life is certainly unfair some times… I hope Michael recovers but after being in a coma for so long most doctors suggest he may not ever really recover. He’s proved people wrong before so I hope he proves them wrong in his most important battle ever.