It’s been exactly two months of complete radio silence from his camp, but finally there’s a new update on Michael Schumacher’s condition. That being said, its interpretation needs careful reading and analysis…
The seven-time World Champion’s manager, Sabine Kehm, has today announced that the German is out of a coma and has been discharged from his treating CHU Grenoble hospital “to continue his long phase of rehabilitation”.
Schumacher has been in the hospital’s intensive care unit since December 29 after he suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident while on a family holiday at the Meribel skiing resort in the French Alps.
He underwent two rounds of surgery to reduce the risk of brain damage, which included the removal of a number of cerebral haemorrhages and to relieve intercranial pressure inside his skull. He was kept in a coma while his long recovery continued.
The last in a set of very infrequent updates (issued in April) from the Schumacher camp confirmed that the 45-year-old was showing “moments of consciousness”, so the latest update is another step in what remains a lengthy and extremely uncertain road ahead.
In truth, however, the latest update actually says very little. Schumacher was technically “not in a coma anymore” as when Kehm’s last update in April was issued, so the latest statement doesn’t actually give any actual hint of progress.
What was also not confirmed in the latest update was how long Schumacher has been out of intensive care – it’s extremely rare for a head injury patient to move from ICU into outpatient rehab – or whether he has actually been taken off artificial respiration. There has never been confirmation of the latter since his accident, and the absence of this news would suggest that he remains on a tracheal ventilator.
Of course we would like nothing more than for signs of rapid progress. The absence of any significant ‘progress’ reports combined with years of medical evidence, however, suggests that the road ahead remains extremely uncertain. The likelihood of anything resembling a major recovery remains, tragically, very slim, but that certainly shouldn’t discount a miracle.
Image via Motorsport.com
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