Michael Schumacher reportedly responds to treatment as doctors try to bring him back to life. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, after undergoing several neurological tests, Formula One legend seems to be reacting “positively.” As doctors try to bring him out of his coma at a slow pace, it appears that Schumacher blinked, although sources have not revealed whether the act was voluntary or not.
Michael Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm confirmed that the racing champion has been brought back to life but warned that the recovery process “may take a long time.”
“Michael’s sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process,” Kehm said.
She also pointed out that the family “is again requesting for their privacy,” but wife Corinna, who has not left Schumacher’s bed since the skiing accident on December 29 insists he is a “fighter.” However, professor Gary Hartstein, the chief medic who monitored Schumacher’s health between 2005 and 2012 is not as optimistic as the champion’s wife and believes that chances of seeing “the Michael Schumacher we knew prior to fall” are slim.
Top Gear host Richard Hammond soothes Schumacher’s fans and shares his own experience while recovering from a head injury. The presenter was also put in an induced coma after suffering a car crash while filming for the show in 2006. He stated that “coma is a very strange state” and that the real challenge was to recover. Although his coma lasted only a few days, Hammond had a hard time grasping what happened and alerts fans that Schumacher will go through the same difficulty.
“It’s a tremendously difficult thing to accept and get on with,” he said.
From the presenter’s experience, waking out from an induced coma is no different from waking up from “a nice lie-down in a bed,” but the experience is tougher for the loved ones.
What Doctors Say
Doctor Clemens Pahl, brain trauma expert at King’s College Hospital in London is optimistic about the decision the champion’s doctors from Grenoble University Hospital made, namely to reduce his sedation. According to Doctor Pahl, “it means that they have probably seen the pressure in his skull reduced.” However, he also warns that the possibility of putting him back in the coma exists if Schumacher has not recovered enough to wake up on his own. Trying several times “to bring a patient out of an induced coma” is a common gesture in case of a brain injury.
Doctor Bavikatte, a consultant at The Walton Centre in Liverpool insists on the blinking process and its meaning. He states that the most important question right now is to find out ” whether the blinking is consistent” and the act happens when he is asked a question. If the blinking is voluntary, “it could be a sign he is trying to communicate” either with the doctors or his family.
Professor Jean-Luc Truelle, specialist in neurology believes that after the patient completes the first phase, the next two months will be “a period of confusion.” Moreover, Truelle mentions that the recovery stage could last “several years in case of serious head injury.”
Michael Schumacher’s manager confirmed that the champion has been brought back to life and although his family demands the press to respect the medical secret and “to not disturb the doctors treating Michael in their work,” fans all over the world are optimistic about the fact that the Formula One legend could one day open his eyes.
By Gabriela Motroc