Schumacher Remains Stable In Critical Condition Following Ski Fall

The world of Formula One remains in bated breath as one of its legendary figures lies unconscious in a hospital bed, clinging to life. Michael Schumacher has been in a critical condition for two weeks, with the only change in condition moving from life-threatening to stable, but still critical.

Schumacher had been skiing with his teenage son in the Méribel region of France on December 29th when his skiis clipped a rock, causing him to fall and hit his head on a rock. The accident happened in an off-piste area, which is not recommended for skiing as it is purposely for such activity and can contain hazards such as trees and unseen rocks. He was quickly seen to by nearby patrolmen and was airlifted to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble within fifteen minutes. At the regional hospital which specialises in brain injuries such as Schumacher’s, a scan was made of the brain and urgent surgery was performed when the scan revealed a cerebral contusion, a form of injury to the brain. His ski helmet is likely to have saved his life, said the doctors who have been treating him.

The day after the accident, the hospital said that Schumacher had been placed in an induced coma. He also underwent a second surgical procedure in an attempt to relieve pressure on the brain. On the first day of 2014, his condition had shown “slight signs of improvement”, and had changed from life-threatening to stable in a critical condition where it has stayed in the two weeks since the accident. Over the past few days, he is said to have had another operation, this time to remove a part of his skull in another effort to relieve pressure on the brain and to try and discover where Schumacher’s brain has been damaged. The more pressure a brain is subjected to, the more damaging it can be, with life-changing effects. Swiss newspaper Zurich Tagesanzeiger has reported the operation and German paper Bild
has the medical team responsible for treating the German as quoted with an extremely cautious tone:

“Doctors want to see which parts of the brain were damaged and which parts are still functioning,” a hospital source is cited as saying. “We don’t know when more official information will be given but it could take weeks, even months.”

Fans and supporters held a silent vigil as requested by Ferrari, outside the Grenoble hospital on January 3rd, Schumacher's 45th birthday

Fans and supporters held a silent vigil as requested by Ferrari, outside the Grenoble hospital on January 3rd, Schumacher’s 45th birthday

Outpourings of support and good wishes have come from all over the world, with many from outside the sporting world expressing their sympathy. Bill Clinton was one such example, saying that Schumacher had been a big help as he donated millions of pounds to the William J Residential Center, an organisation which works to help people in all manners possible. Clinton said on social networking website Twitter:

“Thinking today of Michael Schumacher and grateful for all he’s done w/@clintonfdn and for others. My prayers are with him and his family,”

The story has dominated world news since it broke but one journalist took it too far as an attempt to gain access to Schumacher’s private room disguised as a priest was discovered and quickly dealt with. It is not known who the journalist is employed by. As journalists stalk the hospital and nearby areas, Schumacher’s family and in particular his wife, Corinna, come under increased stress as the watching and waiting ears and eyes of reporters hang on every word. Not helping are the rumours of Schumacher’s condition which have comes from sources other than the hopsital and family members. Former Formula One driver Philippe Streiff said that the German’s life was no longer in danger, a statement which was condemned by the star’s wife. The injured driver’s wife politely asked in a statement for the waiting to leave the family to privacy until further news is available:

“Please support us in our common fight with Michael. It is important to me that you leave the doctors and the hospital so that they can work in peace. I ask you to trust their statements and leave the clinic.

‘Please leave our family in peace.’

As of writing on January 14th, no official update from the hospital has been forthcoming in over a week. The world waits and hopes.

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