The fateful ski accident took place in the French Alps in 2013. Despite wearing a helmet the racing legend’s head hit a rock leaving him with severe brain damage. Putting an abrupt end to his racing career, other drivers such as Lewis Hamilton have beaten his records and claimed his titles. There has always been strict privacy surrounding Schumacher’s condition but recently a long-term friend has provided some insight.
F1 boss Jean Todt revealed to German newspaper Bild of his hopes that Schumacher’s condition will “slowly and surely improve.”
Continuing, Todt spoke extremely highly of Schumacher’s wife Corinna how has ultimately kept him from dying.
The racer was pulled out of unconsciousness in 2014, spending nearly a year in a coma.
Todt added: “I’ve spent a lot of time with Corinna since Michael had his serious skiing accident on December 29, 2013. She is a great woman and runs the family.
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“She hadn’t expected that. It happened suddenly and she had no choice. But she does it very well. I trust her, she trusts me.
“Thanks to the work of his doctors and the cooperation of Corinna, who wanted him to survive, he survived – but with consequences.”
Although he was not specific about these “consequences”, the Telegraph reported in 2014 that the racer was “paralysed and in a wheelchair.”
So we can only imagine that these are the consequences that Todt was talking about.
Although not the same as he once was, Todt credits the racers courage and fight to want to survive.
Last month, another small yet optimistic update came from F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.
He revealed that although not yet, he anticipates the driver will one day be able to answer questions about his health himself.
Schumacher continues to recover in his home in Switzerland, with wife Corinna hand picking the select few who are allowed to visit.
Brain injuries such as the one Schumacher encountered come in two types.
As WebMD states, individuals can suffer either a traumatic brain injury or an acquired brain injury and both disrupt the brain’s normal functioning.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – This is caused by an external force such as a blow to the head that causes the brain to move inside the skull or causes damage to the skull which in turn damages the brain.
Acquired brain injury (ABI) – This occurs at the cellular level and is most likely caused by some form of pressure on the brain. This could be caused by a tumour or neurological illness like a stroke.
With severe brain injuries, individuals are likely to suffer life-changing and debilitating problems leaving them with cognitive, physical and behavioural disabilities.
Causes of brain damage
When an individual is involved in an accident and has a blow to the head, the brain becomes starved of oxygen.
It is this starvation of oxygen for a prolonged period of time that causes permanent damage.