Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Michael Schumacher's condition 'stable' as manager says 'extreme bad luck' caused skiing accident

The former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing in the French Alps
The former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing in the French Alps

Michael Schumacher’s condition in a French hospital has been described as “stable” by his manager.

The seven-time Formula One world champion was supervised throughout the night as his head injury was treated in Grenoble, Sabine Kehm said, adding that the “good news” was that no further updates were needed because there were “no changes”.

 

Yesterday Ms Kehm said Schumacher's skiing accident was a result of “extreme bad luck” and not because he was going too fast.

 

He was then reported to be in a “fragile” condition in hospital after a second operation.

 

Ms Kehm told reporters she had spoken to a number of people who were there when the former racing driver fell, and that she had been able to piece together a clearer picture of what had happened.

 

“Michael and the group had been skiing on normal slopes and then between a red slope and blue slope was a part with deep snow,” she said. “Michael went into that, but after everything that people told me, it was not even at high speed.”

 

It emerged in reports yesterday that the force of Schumacher’s crash was so great his ski helmet split in two. Ms Kehm said: “It seemed he had just helped a friend who had fallen and started to ski again, went into this deep snow and apparently - this is what we guess - hit a rock as he tried to do a turn and was catapulted in the air and landed head down on another rock.

 

“It was extreme bad luck and circumstances, and not because he was speeding too much. I have spoken with several people, including ski teachers, that tell me that can happen even at 10km/h. It was just very, very unfortunate.”

 

French doctors performed a successful operation to reduce bruising on Schumacher’s brain late on Monday night, resulting in a noticeable improvement in his condition.

That update came as it emerged that a reporter dressed as a priest had tried to get into the racing driver’s hospital room.

 

Doctors at the Grenoble University Hospital said that a “brief improvement” in the German driver’s condition had given them a “window of medical opportunity” to carry out a two-hour operation to remove a “haematoma” or serious bruise from within Mr Schumacher’s brain.

 

Medical experts then said that the next 48 hours would decide whether the retired German racing driver would survive or recover partially or completely. Professor Denis Safran of the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris said that it was notoriously difficult to predict the consequences of the kind of injuries, including internal brain lesions, suffered by Mr Schumacher.

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