By Agency F1 champion Michael Schumacher has left hospital in Grenoble and is no longer in a coma, his family said yesterday. The 45-year-old has been transferred to Lausanne university hospital in Switzerland, officials there say.
Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on 29 December.
His family thanked people who had sent messages of support, saying: “We are sure it helped him.” They also praised the “excellent job” of medical staff at the hospital in Grenoble, in south-east France. Doctors had kept the seven-time champion in a coma to help reduce swelling in his brain.
Grenoble’s University Hospital Centre seen in January 2014 Michael Schumacher had been treated at Grenoble’s University Hospital Centre in the French Alps
“Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore,” Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement on behalf of his family yesterday. “For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye,” she said, without giving further details.
Relatives have previously warned that “it was clear from the start that this will be a long and hard fight for Michael”. The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva reports that the university hospital in Lausanne is one of Switzerland’s most renowned. He will have a team of specialists, and his own private accommodation, and he will be much closer to his family home on the shores of Lake Geneva, our correspondent says.
But it is not clear what Schumacher’s condition is and his process of recovery is still expected to be a long one, she adds. Yesterday’s statement was the first substantial update since early April when Ms Kehm said the German racing driver was showing “moments of consciousness and awakening.”
Neurosurgeon Tony Belli told the BBC that rehabilitation from this sort of injury could take months or years. “We know that some people can spend three, four years in rehabilitation,” he said. “It depends very much on the severity of the injury, how young and fit they are.”
Meanwhile, the German football team sent their wishes to the F1 legend from the World Cup in Brazil at the weekend. Lukas Podolski, the Arsenal striker, told a news conference: “I’d like to greet a good friend, who unfortunately is unable to be here. He is Michael Schumacher.
“He is just as crazy about football as all of us. We wish his family a lot of strength. If we win the title, that would be something that would make him happy.”