A German archbishop has detailed a visit he made to Michael Schumacher, claiming the stricken F1 legend ‘senses people around him’.
Schumacher suffered head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013, with information about his condition very rare ever since.
But with the thirst for updates about the beloved driver at an all-time high, Georg Gänswein has offered a rare insight.
The German archbishop has opened up about visiting Schumacher at his home in Switzerland in 2016.
“I sat opposite him, took hold of both hands and looked at him,” Ganswein told German publication Bild.
“He senses that loving people are around him, caring for him and, thank God, keeping the overly curious public away.
“His face is, as we all know, the typical Michael Schumacher face he has become only a little fuller.
“Of course, I include Michael Schumacher and his family in my prayers.”
Schumacher’s family have remained fiercely private in the years since his accident, with Michael’s manager recently opening up about why.
“In general the media have never reported on Michael and (wife) Corinna’s private life,” she said.
“Once in a long discussion, Michael said to me ‘You don’t need to call me for the next year, I am disappearing’, I think it was his secret dream to be able to do that some day.
“That’s why now I still want to protect his wishes in that I don’t let anything get out.”
What happened to Schumacher?
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.”
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.