Schu­macher bat­tles for life

Can’t pre­dict Schu­macher’s fate: Doc­tors

The Financial Express - - FRONT PAGE -

DOC­TORS treat­ing Michael Schu­macher re­fused to pre­dict an out­come for the sev­en­time F1 cham­pion, say­ing they were tak­ing his crit­i­cal head in­jury “hour by hour” fol­low­ing a ski­ing ac­ci­dent. He is in a med­i­cally in­duced coma.

Greno­ble, France, Dec 30: Seven-times For­mula One world cham­pion Michael Schu­macher was fight­ing for his life on Mon­day af­ter suf­fer­ing se­vere head in­juries in a ski­ing ac­ci­dent in the French Alps re­sort of Meri­bel, doc­tors said. “We can say that his con­di­tion is life-threat­en­ing,” Jean-Fran­cois Payen, head anaes­theti­cian at the CHU hos­pi­tal in the east­ern French city of Greno­ble, said.

“For the mo­ment we can­not say what Michael Schu­macher’s fu­ture is,” he added. “We are work­ing round the clock — we are try­ing to win time.”

The re­tired mo­tor rac­ing great, 44, slammed his head on a rock while ski­ing off-piste on Sun­day morn­ing in the French Alpine re­sort where he has a va­ca­tion home.

“His hel­met did of course pro­tect him at least partly. Some­one who had suf­fered a sim­i­lar ac­ci­dent with­out a hel­met would not have made it here (to the hos­pi­tal),” Payen said. Schu­macher was ini­tially con­scious as he was trans­ported to a lo­cal hos­pi­tal in Moutiers and then to Greno­ble. How­ever, his con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated sharply af­ter­wards.

Neu­ro­sur­geon Stephan Chabardes said an emer­gency brain scan car­ried out on Schu­macher had re­vealed in­ter­nal bleed­ing and in­juries in­clud­ing con­tu­sions and le­sions. He said they had op­er­ated to treat the in­ter­nal bleed­ing.

Doc­tors said he had been placed in an ar­ti­fi­cial coma but, con­trary to an ear­lier French me­dia re­port, said they had not car­ried out a sec­ond op­er­a­tion dur­ing the night and were not plan­ning any fur­ther in­ter­ven­tions at this stage.

Lead­ing names in mo­tor rac­ing re­acted with shock on Twit­ter. “If any­one can pull through, it’s him,” said Bri­tain’s triple Indy 500 win­ner Dario Fran­chitti, who is still walk­ing on crutches af­ter a crash in Oc­to­ber that ended his rac­ing ca­reer.

AP

Jean-Fran­cois Payen, left, and Ger­ard Sail­lant an­swer ques­tions from jour­nal­ists at the Greno­ble hos­pi­tal in the French Alps

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