Sunday 8 December 2019

Michael Schumacher showing "moments of consciousness and awakening"

Michael Schumacher is showing "moments of consciousness" as he continues his long struggle for survival.

The seven-times Formula One world champion is now approaching 100 days in a coma at the University of Grenoble hospital since sustaining severe head injuries in a skiing accident at the end of December.

The latest update from Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm - and the first for just over three weeks - again offers hope the 45-year-old will somehow make a miracle recovery.

"Michael is making progress. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening," said Kehm.

"We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team at the hospital in Grenoble, and we remain confident."

Not for the first time Kehm has thanked Schumacher's fans, and all the well-wishers around the world, for their continuous support.

Naturally, as time has progressed and Schumacher has failed to emerge from his coma, there has been growing speculation as to whether he will survive, and if he does, the nature of his condition.

Kehm, however, is unwilling to go into specifics with regard to Schumacher's situation and his care, adding: "We would like to thank you all for the continuous sympathies.

"At the same time we again ask for your understanding that we do not intend to disclose details.

"This is necessary to protect the privacy of Michael and his family, and to enable the medical team to work in full calmness."

Recent speculation has centred around the fact Schumacher's wife Corinna was considering moving her husband to their home for him to continue his treatment by building a specialised medical suite.

However, it is understood that is not part of the family's plans as they believe he is receiving the best treatment possible at the hospital.

Schumacher was placed in an induced coma after undergoing two separate operations to remove blood clots from his brain following his accident on December 29.

Former Formula 1 chief doctor Dr Gary Hartstein  said last week that the situation is still grave, describing Schumacher’s current state as “persistent coma”.

“As time goes on it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent,” Hartstein said.

 “As mentioned previously, the longer one remains in a vegetative state, the less the likelihood of emerging, and the higher the chances of severe ramifications if the patient does in fact emerge,”

“Most definitions consider the vegetative state to be permanent one year after the injury.

“Patients who are in a persistent/permanent vegetative state have lifespans that are measured in months to a few years. This depends on baseline function (extraordinary in the case of Michael, of course), the quality of nursing care, and other imponderables. They usually die of respiratory or urinary infections. Longer survivals have been described, but are exceptional.”

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