'Only a miracle' can save Schumacher, doctors tell family of F1 racing legend
"Only a miracle" can save Michael Schumacher, doctors have told his family, sources have claimed.
The seven-time Formula One world champion suffered serious brain injuries in a skiing accident in the French resort of Meribel in late December. He has been in an artificially induced coma for 69 days in hospital in Grenoble.
Sources close to his family say the 45-year-old driver's wife, Corinna, and his brother, Ralf, have been consulting brain specialists and have been told his chances of recovery are minimal.
The family is said to be concerned doctors now assume he will remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.
Experts say most artificial comas last for an average of three weeks.
Schumacher's management team has insisted that doctors are gradually reducing the drug levels to bring him out of the coma and that he is in a "wake-up" phase.
Sabine Kehm, a team spokesman, said yesterday: "Michael is still in a wake-up phase – the situation has not altered."
The hospital has kept news of his condition to a minimum, but sources close to his family say the prognosis is bleak.
"The family has been told that only a miracle can bring him back now," said a senior German journalist. "He is in a bad way, but until the family issues a formal statement, we cannot publish anything."
Another source added: "Doctors have given it to them straight. Miracles sometimes happen, but there is little hope that he will come out of this."
A fortnight ago, Germany's 'Focus' magazine reported that complications had obliged doctors to halt Schumacher's wake-up process and that he had been put back into a coma. However, the management team denied the report.
Coma experts have stressed the past week should have been crucial for the wake-up process as doctors would have been hoping for a sign he was gradually becoming aware of his surroundings.
Last Sunday, the family is said to have spent Corinna Schumacher's 45th birthday around his bed, praying in vain for him to acknowledge their presence. (© Daily Telegraph, London)