Months After His Severe Head Injuries, Michael Schumacher’s Future Remains Unclear

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Over two months after his tragic skiing accident in December, the world is still watching for positive signs from Michael Schumacher. Though, hope seems to be draining. Schumacher suffered severe head injuries while skiing in the French Alps, and was placed in a drug-induced coma. A little over two weeks ago, doctors began the process of trying to wake the Formula 1 champion, but there are little signs of improvement.

Schumacher in 2010 Source: Wikimedia Commons

Schumacher in 2010
Source: Wikimedia Commons

When he was brought to the French hospital following the accident, Schumacher had to be put into the coma in order to operate on blood clots in the brain, though some clots had to be left because they were too deeply embedded according to Fox News. In order to attempt to wake Schumacher, doctors began to withdraw sedatives that were being used to keep him comatose.

Schumacher’s agent, Sabine Kehm, sent out an email on Friday stating that Michael is “still in the wake-up phase” and cautioned that “this phase can be long.” However, the family has released few other details of his condition.

Reports say that doctors are on the watch for any signs of eye movement, but so far none have been seen.
Dr. Tipu Aziz, professor of neurosurgery at Oxford University who is not connected to Schumacher’s care told the Associated Press, “It does not bode well. The fact that he hasn’t woken up implies that the surgery has been extremely severe and that a full recovery is improbable.”

However, other experts urged for restraint when assessing Schumacher’s state. “About 90 percent of the recovery is made within nine to 12 months, so this is still early days,” Dr. Anthony Strong said. Strong is an emeritus chair in neurosurgery at King’s College London. “The longer someone is in a coma, the worse their recovery tends to be.”

The chances of Schumacher waking are still relatively strong. The wakeup phase can take several weeks, but the more realistic concerns deal with who Schumacher might be once he awakes. Due to the severity of the injuries and the length of the time Schumacher has spent comatose, it is highly likely he will face several disabilities if he is able to come out of his coma.

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