Michael Schumacher’s condition is finally stable after a skiing accident in the French Alps put him in hospital on December 29, but the medically induced coma could turn one of the world’s greatest racing drivers into an average Joe. Both tracks and fans will miss the seven-time Formula One World Champion’s skills.
According to doctors familiar with head injuries like the one that put Michael Schumacher in hospital, patients are usually woken up after maximum two weeks. The fact that the former racing driver is still in an induced coma could mean that his situation is still critical, even if he has been stabilized.
“There may have been complications,” Neurosurgeon Andreas Zieger said. He also added that: “brain injuries are among the most complicated injuries that can happen to the human body,” but the alarming conclusion is that the bleeding might cause “unilateral paralysis, speech disorders or personality changes.” No once can know how Schumacher will be when he wakes up from the induced coma, but one thing is sure; his genius and skills will be missed. Worried fans are asking themselves whether there is a bit of champion left in Michael Schumacher.
Investigators of this case concluded that Schumacher smashed his head against a rock because of excessive speed and inadequate signage. The impact was so violent that his helmet split in two. Although German newspapers are worried that he might never wake up from the coma, Brain Injury Specialist Richard Greenwood is certain that Schumacher will open his eyes, but the world must be prepared to say hello to a changed man.
If Schumacher survives, he will not be Schumacher.
Greenwood alerted both his family and his fans that “he will be [Joe] Bloggs” and that “his rehabilitation will only be effective if he comes to terms with being Bloggs.” The brain injury specialist refers to all those who’ve experienced brain injuries when he says that “this is a very, very hard process to take people through.”
“They need to come to terms with their limitations,” said Greenwood.
Michael Schumacher underwent two brain surgeries to relieve pressure on his brain. During the second operation, doctors removed a large mass of blood from the former racing driver’s left side of the brain. The long-term prognosis has not been issued yet, but Sabine Kehm, the champion’s manager sent an optimistic e-mail.
“Michael’s family is very happy and confident with the work of the team of doctors treating Michael, and they trust them completely. Michael’s condition is still considered as stable,” Michael Schumacher’s manager said.
Formula One Racing Drivers in Shock
While Schumacher’s induced-coma continues at the University Hospital in Grenoble, Formula One racing drivers express their concern regarding the World Champion’s fate. Damon Hill, the only son of a world champion to ever win a Formula One World Championship and Schumacher’s early rival expressed his concerns.
“It’s definitely a cloud hanging over Formula One because Michael has been such a large part of the sport,” Hill said. The former champion spoke on behalf of all racers when he mentioned that they are “all shocked, deeply concerned and praying for his family and for him.”
Although mountain rescuers brought back Schumacher’s wooden beaded bracelet after the racing driver lost it during the tragic accident, the lucky charm will not be able to bring back Formula One’s brightest star. Michael Schumacher’s skills will be missed, but this does not prevent the whole world from looking forward to the moment he opens his eyes.
By Gabriela Motroc