Michael Schumacher Emerges from Coma

Ski accident victim looking at long recovery

Retired German racing legend Michael Schumacher was comatose for six months before doctors decided to start withdrawing sedatives in an effort to wake him. (exit1979/Flickr)
Photo: exit1979/Flickr

At the end of December, a skiing accident left seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher in a medically induced coma, with doctors saying he might not survive. Today his manager announced that Schumacher is no longer in a coma and is moving to a Swiss hospital for a long recovery process.

This comes as quite a surprise because little has been said of Schumacher's health aside from an early April announcement that he was showing some signs of consciousness. Schumacher was skiing in the French Alps when he fell and hit his head on a rock, splitting his helmet in two. Helmet-cam footage showed that he'd been skiing off-trail at the time, which rekindled a discussion on the extent to which helmets protect us from traumatic brain injuries, especially as many people end up increasing their risky behavior. Still, many doctors said that Schumacher's helmet saved his life.

Not much more information is available now, as Schumacher's family continues to request as much privacy as possible, and the extent of his head injury is still unclear. Dr. Tipu Aziz of Oxford University told the Associated Press that Schumacher likely suffered long-term side effects if he is going into rehabilitation, though he should at least be able to support his own breathing and bodily functions if he has been released from the hospital.

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