Schumacher wakes from coma and leaves France

Motor racing legend Michael Schumacher has left hospital in the French city of Grenoble after coming out of a coma, his spokeswoman revealed on Monday. Reports says he will continue his recovery at a hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Schumacher wakes from coma and leaves France
Michael Schumacher has left hospital after coming out of a coma, his spokeswoman revealed on Monday. Photo: AFP

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.

"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."

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Manager blasts French Schumacher story

On the one-year anniversary of Formula One racing great Michael Schumacher's skiing accident in France, his manager is warning that reports on Schumacher's health in a French newspaper are false.

Manager blasts French Schumacher story
Formula One champion Michael Schumacher skiing. Photo: DPA
Sabine Kehm, Schumacher's manager, told Bild that there was no way the information in Le Parisien was credible. 
Former Formula One driver Philippe Streiff told the French daily on Sunday that the German seven-time racing champion was "communicating with this eyes" and that while he's recognizing his family again, he still has "big problems with his memory." 
He added that physically, Schumacher was working on sitting up on his own. 
Streiff cited his friendship with Schumacher's doctor, Gérard Saillant as the source of this information. He also said he had contact with Corinna Schumacher, Michael's wife of nearly 20 years.
"The statements of Philippe Streiff can only make me wonder. He definitely does not have contact with Professor Saillant and definitely not with Corinna." 
Streiff also called Schumacher "my friend", saying that he worked with the Schumachers in 2010 when they founded the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris (ICM), where he also works.
Furthermore, Streiff lives in Grenoble, where Schumacher was first hospitalised after a freak skiing accident put him into a six-month-long coma. 
"I was there," Streiff told Le Parisien. 
Michael Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm. Photo: DPA
This only provoked further ire for Schumacher's spokesperson. 
"There is absolutely no contact with the Schumacher family. There has never been a friendship between Mr Streiff and Michael," Kehm said. 
It's been one year since the German Formula One ace suffered severe head injuries while skiing with this family in the French Alps.
After being in a coma for half a year, Schumacher is "making progress appropriate to the severity of his situation, but it will be a difficult and long process," Kehm said in November in an interview with broadcaster RTL. 
Schumi, as he is known in Germany, has been recovering in his home in Gland, Switzerland.
His family say they were "confident and hoping for the best" for his recovery.