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Brain injury specialist: If Schumacher survives, he won't be Schumacher

Published 16/01/2014 | 14:18

Michael Schumacher. Photo: Reuters
Michael Schumacher. Photo: Reuters

A brain injury specialist has warned that if Michael Schumacher survives after his skiing accident "he will not be Michael Schumacher".

French doctors have begun tests on the seven-times Formula One world champion, having been in an artificially induced come for more than two weeks after his head struck a rock while skiing off-piste in Meribel in France.

He has had an operation to remove a small part of his skull in a bid to relieve pressure on his brain but he remains in a critical condition.

Dr Richard Greenwood, an acute brain injury specialist from University College London Hospital, said successful rehabilitation would mean adjusting to a very different life.

"If Schumacher survives, he will not be Schumacher," Greenwood said, as reported by The Times.

"He will be [Joe] Bloggs. His rehabilitation will only be effective if he comes to terms with being Bloggs.

"That is a very, very hard process to take people through. “They need to come to terms with their limitations — the fact they have changed,”

Greenwood was speaking at the launch of a study which found people who suffered traumatic head injuries were three times as likely to die prematurely as those who had not. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, tested 220,000 people.

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