Schumacher in coma, â€˜criticalâ€™ after France ski accident
30 December 2013 | Sports
The retired seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was in a critical condition yesterday after suffering severe brain trauma in a skiing accident in the French Alps, doctors said.
The German racing legend, who turns 45 on Friday, had been skiing off-piste with his 14-year-old son in the upmarket Meribel resort when he fell and hit his head on a rock.
He was â€œsuffering a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival, which required an immediate neurosurgical operationâ€, according to the hospital in the south-eastern French city of Grenoble where he is being treated.
â€œHe remains in a critical condition.â€
Shortly after the accident Meribel resort director Christophe Gernigon-Lecomte said Schumacher, who had been wearing a helmet, was â€œconscious but a little agitatedâ€.
But when Schumacher fell into coma, doctors realised the damage was worse than initially feared.
Two mountain police officers who gave first aid to Schumacher said he was suffering â€œsevere cranial traumaâ€ when they got to him and a helicopter was brought in to evacuate him within 10 minutes.
A renowned Parisian neurologist, Dr Gerard Saillant, arrived at the Grenoble hospital in a police car to help take charge of the famous patient.
Schumacherâ€™s wife Corinna was at his side with his two children, the hospital said.
The hospital statement was signed by the facilityâ€™s neurosurgeon, the professor in charge of its anaesthesia/revival unit, and the hospitalâ€™s deputy director.
News of Schumacherâ€™s accident stunned the Formula One community and his former teammates joined thousands on Twitter in wishing him a speedy recovery.
â€œMy thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time... Michael, more than anyone, has the strength to pull through this,â€ tweeted British F1 driver Jenson Button.
Schumacherâ€™s former teammate at Benetton Martin Brundle wrote on Twitter: â€œCome on Michael, give us one of those race stints at pure qualifying pace to win through, like you used to. You can do it.â€
Brazilian Formula One racing driver Felipe Massa said he was â€œpraying for God to protect you my brother!! I wish you a speedy recovery Michael.â€