Written by Staff Writer
30 Dec, 2013 | 8:23 am
Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula 1 champion, is “fighting for his life” after a ski accident in the French Alps, his doctors say.
He was skiing off-piste with his son in the French Alps on Sunday when the accident occurred.
The 44-year-old German suffered serious brain trauma, was in a coma on arrival and underwent a brain operation.
“We cannot tell you what the outcome will be yet,” the team treating him told a news conference on Monday morning.
His family are at his bedside.
Schumacher underwent surgery on arrival at the University Hospital in Grenoble.
He remains in a coma and the medical team treating him said that they are working “hour by hour”.
“All we can do is wait,” they added.
According to the medical team, Schumacher is to be kept in coma, as he had suffered grave head trauma that needed immediate surgery.
The doctors stated that he has lesions on his brain too early to predict the outcome of his surgery, to which they added, “We cant really say when he’ll recover.”
Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head against a rock, his manager Sabine Kehm said.
Early reports had said his condition was not life-threatening and he reportedly walked away from the accident complaining only of feeling a bit shaken.
The director of the Meribel resort where the accident occurred, said Schumacher was attended to by two ski patrollers who requested helicopter evacuation to the nearby valley town of Moutiers.
He was subsequently moved to the bigger facility at Grenoble, in south-east France. His wife Corinna and two children are with him.
“Mr Schumacher was admitted to the University Hospital of Grenoble at 12:40 [11:40 GMT], following a skiing accident which occurred in Meribel in the late morning,” the Grenoble hospital said in a statement.
“He suffered a severe head injury with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical intervention. He remains in a critical situation.”
The hospital statement was signed by the facility’s neurosurgeon, the professor in charge of its anaesthesia/revival unit, and the hospital’s deputy director, reports said.
Experts say it is likely that his brain began to swell and the urgent surgery was required to relieve the pressure, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris.
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