Everything we know about Michael Schumacher's condition

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Updates on Michael Schumacher’s health have been few and far between since he suffered head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013.

Here’s everything we know about the stricken F1 legend’s current condition:

How was he injured?

Schumacher was skiing with son Mick in the French Alps on the 29th December, 2013 when he fell and hit his head on a rock.

Doctors said he most likely would have died if not for the helmet he was wearing.

Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma with a traumatic brain injury, before being moved to a rehabilitation ward about six months later after regaining consciousness.

He was then transferred to the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, before being moved back to his home near Lake Geneva in September 2014.

In November 2014, it was revealed that the 49-year-old was “paralysed and in a wheelchair”, and he “cannot speak and has memory problems.”

“Considering the severe head injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months,” a family statement said at the time.

“There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead.”

Michael SCHUMACHER in 2004. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Michael SCHUMACHER in 2004. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

He cannot walk, contrary to reports

In 2017, German magazine Bunte claimed Schumacher was able to walk again.

The Bunte report quoted an unnamed friend as saying: “Michael is very thin. But he can once again walk a little with the help of his therapists.

“He manages to make a couple of steps. And he can also raise an arm.”

However Schumacher’s lawyer Felix Damm refuted those claims in court.

“He cannot walk,” Damm said, adding that Schumacher can’t even stand with assistance of therapists.

“Unfortunately, we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true,” Kehm said.

“Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important for Michael.

“Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.”

Bunte was forced to pay Schumacher about $80,000 in damages over the false claims.

Michael Schumacher poses with his wife Corinna in Northern Italy, 11 January 2005. AFP PHOTO / Press Ferrari (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Schumacher poses with his wife Corinna in Northern Italy, 11 January 2005. AFP PHOTO / Press Ferrari (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

He ‘sometimes cries’ when he sees natural beauty

French magazine Paris Match recently quoted ‘close family’ that Schumacher is still able to show emotions.

The magazine quoted one relative as saying: “When you put him in his wheelchair facing the beautiful panorama of the mountains overlooking the lake, Michael sometimes cries.”

Schumacher currently lives in the Swiss town of Gland, overlooking Lake Geneva.

In 2015, Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra reported that the F1 legend would ‘well-up’ with tears when he saw his children.

“Sometimes a tear rolls down Michael’s face. He cries when he hears the voice of his children or his wife,” the newspaper said.

“In recent times he has been able to recognise the familiar faces of his family but he cannot communicate with them.”

He is not being moved to Mallorca

A spokesperson for Schumacher and his family recently hit back at claims he is being moved from his home in Switzerland.

Swiss news magazine L’Illustre reported that the seven-time F1 world champion was being moved to a vast property in the village of Andratx on Mallorca, recently purchased by his wife Corinna.

“The Schumacher family does not plan to move to Mallorca,” family spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told AFP in an email.

L’Illustre based its story on a comment from Andratx mayor Katia Rouarch, saying she could “officially confirm” the 49-year-old would be settling in the village.

“Everything is being put in place to accommodate him,” she was quoted by the magazine as saying.

But the municipality was forced to issue a statement maintaining that Rouarch had been misquoted, “probably (as a) result of misinterpretation or misunderstanding, perhaps due to language translation.”

In its statement, the Andratx city council said the mayor had confirmed to L’Illustre that the Schumacher family had recently bought a house there.

“She did however not give any information about a potential relocation of Michael Schumacher and/or his family in our municipality of Andratx,” it said, stressing that the mayor “doesn’t have any information about it.”

How is he being treated?

Schumacher is reportedly looked after by a 15-person medical team, costing a reported $182,000 per week.

On the fourth anniversary of his accident in 2017, his care bills had reportedly passed $31 million.

In September 2017, it was claimed that Schumacher could be moved to the US for specialist treatment, where he owns a ranch in Texas.

“We have extensive experience with trauma patients,” Brain injury specialist Dr Mark Meeks said at the time.

“There is probably no clinic in Europe that handles as many cases as we do.”

Will he ever recover?

Earlier in 2018, Professor Mark Oberman from the Centre for Neurology of the Asklepios Clinic offered hope.

“According to a Swedish study, between 30 and 40 percent of patients have regained consciousness within four years,” he said.

“Many can come back to life and see how their children and grandchildren grow up, what plans they have or what else happens in the family or circle of friends.”

In November 2016, family friend Ross Brawn revealed that family are still hoping they will see Schumacher “as we knew him”.

“We go see him and hope and pray that one day he will make a recovery,” he said.

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