French doctors work to bring Schumacher out of coma

  • 30 January 2014
  • From the section Europe
Michael Schumacher
Image caption Michael Schumacher was skiing in the French resort of Meribel when he hit a rock

Doctors treating injured Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher are reducing his sedation to prepare to bring him out of a coma, his manager says.

This step will allow the "waking up process" to start, Sabine Kehm said in a statement.

But bringing the seven-times champion out of the coma "could take a long time", she added.

Schumacher suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on 29 December.

He was put into a medically induced coma by his doctors at a clinic in Grenoble following operations to remove blood clots from his brain.

Doctors have kept the 45-year-old German asleep to help reduce the swelling.

Ms Kehm was approached by the media for comment on Schumacher's condition on Wednesday - exactly a month after his crash. She said then that his condition remained "stable".

In her statement on Thursday, she said it had been agreed to communicate details of his sedation "only once this process was consolidated".

The statement again included an appeal by Schumacher's family for privacy for them and for his doctors, while at the same time expressing "sincere appreciation for the worldwide sympathy".

At his bedside since the accident, the family have received hundreds of letters and gifts from around the world.

Earlier this month, investigators probing the accident said Schumacher had been going at the speed of "a very good skier" at the time of his crash in the resort of Meribel.

He had been skiing 8m off-piste when he fell and hit a rock, investigators said.

Experts reconstructed events leading up to the crash after examining Schumacher's skiing equipment and viewing footage filmed on a camera attached to his helmet.

Schumacher retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career.

He won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000.

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