Belfast Telegraph

Mixed reaction as legend Schu comes out of coma

By Ian Parkes

News that Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has left hospital following his December skiing accident has met a mixed reaction in the racing community.

Though influential figures such as three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda have expressed delight at what they are interpreting as an encouraging development, others have warned against reading too much into yesterday’s revelations.

“I'm extremely happy,” Lauda said.

“I always believed this news would come. Now I wish he gets through the rehab as quickly as possible and is back with us in Formula One.”

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, tweeted that he is “So happy this is going in the good direction!”

While the initial response was overwhelmingly positive, former Formula One doctor Gary Hartstein said the announcement was “not news,” as the German’s spokesperson Sabine Kehm had said he was showing signs of consciousness many weeks ago.

“I cannot help but think that this is a highly cynical use of language, using the truth to convey an impression that is almost certainly false,” he said on his blog.

The statement also said Schumacher had left the hospital in Grenoble, however another hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland — approximately 19 miles from Schumacher’s home — confirmed that the 45-year-old had been admitted there.

Darcy Christen, a spokesman for the hospital, said: “I can confirm that he has been admitted on Monday morning.”

He said the hospital would not be disclosing details about the star's condition or which part of the hospital he is being treated in.

However, additional reports claim that Schumacher's periods of awakening have been getting longer and longer since the last official statement in early April.

“Michael Schumacher can hear voices and respond to touch,” read one missive.

“His eyes are open. He can communicate with his environment, especially his wife Corinna and his children.

“Schumacher's condition is now considered stable enough that he no longer needs the help of the specialists in Grenoble.”

Hartstein, however, said he believes it is likely Schumacher is either only “minimally conscious” or in a “vegetative state,” with only “fluctuating signs of interaction with the environment.”

Belfast Telegraph

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