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Schumacher wakes from coma and leaves France

Ben McPartland · 16 Jun 2014, 11:45

Published: 16 Jun 2014 11:45 GMT+02:00

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Schumacher has left hospital in Grenoble where he has been in coma since suffering a devestating skiing accident on the slopes of the French Alpine resort of Meribel in December.

"Michael has left the CHU Grenoble (hospital) to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore," spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said in a statement on Monday.

"His family would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months," Kehm said.
Doctors put Schumacher in a medically-induced coma after the December 29th accident in which he hit his head on a rock while skiing with his son and a group of friends.
Initial reports had claimed that Schumacher had been going fast at the time of the accident which occured just a few metres off the piste, but a probe by French investigators revealed that they were not too concerned by his speed and that faulty skis and bad signage were not to blame.
The 45-year-old had two operations the days after the accident to remove life-threatening blood clots on his brain.
"For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye," Kehm said, without giving further details about his condition or where the seven-time world champion was sent to.
But a spokesman for the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) confirmed to AFP that Schumacher had been admitted there on Monday morning.

In March, reports indicated Schumacher’s wife Corinna Schumacher was building a medical suite at the couple’s mansion overlooking Lake Geneva in Gland in the canton of Vaud.

The chances of Schumacher surviving the freak accident appeared to be bleak at one stage, but the news he has come out of a coma and left hospital will delight fans of the motor racing legend.

Details of the German's current condition are thin but it is clear he still has a long road to recovery ahead of him. 

Little has filtered out about his condition since the accident. His family said on January 30th that drugs used to keep him in a coma were being reduced with a view to bringing him back to consciousness.

"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," spokeswoman Sabine Kehm had said back in April.

The same month Kehm said that Schumacher had been showing "positive signs" in his recovery and had experienced "moments of awakening".

'Lapses in early treatment'

Earlier this year The Local reported how Formula One's chief doctor alleged a "serious lapses" in the former driver's early treatment may have worsened Schumacher's condition and warned his chances of recovery from a skiing accident are decreasing over time.

Gary Hartstein, F1 medical delegate until 2012, wrote on his blog that he had learned "from usually impeccable sources who have access to this information" that mistakes had been made in the German great's initial care.

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"I think that serious lapses in judgement were evident during Michael's initial management... these lapses could (and almost certainly did) worsen the outcome in Michael's case," he wrote.

Hartstein later clarified on Twitter that he was referring to "botched"  pre-hospital care and not standards at the Grenoble hospital where the seven-time world champion is being treated.

But Hartstein did not give details about what mistakes may have affected Schumacher.

In his blog Hartstein said: "As time goes on... it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent."

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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