Finally, for the first time, there has been some genuinely good news to report on Michael Schumacher’s condition: his manager Sabine Kehm has confirmed that the seven-time World Champion is showing “moments of consciousness” after more than three months in a comatose state following his skiing accident.
Doctors at his treating hospital in Grenoble have been working steadily to reduce sedation and bring Schumacher out of his induced coma, and this announcement marks the first major breakthrough in his ongoing treatment.
Of late, news from his family and management has remained scarce, prompting much poorly-sourced speculation in the media that suggested that the German would be confined to a permanent vegetative state.
“Michael is making progress on his way,” a statement reads.
“He shows moments of consciousness and awakening. We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident.”
Kehm’s use of the words ‘consciousness’ with the word ‘awakening’ are important, as it would indicate that the 43-year-old is purposefully interacting with his environment or showing some awareness of himself and his surroundings. The behaviours may not be consistently present, but can include smiling and recognition, following people with his eyes, attempts to communicate and/or the following of basic commands.
Such news indicates a major improvement in his long-term prognosis, as well as opening up the potential for further improvement in his neurological functioning.
The process will still take many months and, when he is ready and able, and enormous amount of rehabilitation. The road ahead is still very long and uncertain, but this is very good news.