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Michael Schumacher ski accident: F1 legend 'can see and hear' after coming out of coma and leaving hospital

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The racing legend had been in an artificially-induced coma since suffering severe head injuries in the accident last December, reports.

Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has left hospital six months after he suffered an horrific skiing accident.

The seven-times Formula One world champion had sustained severe head injuries in the incident in the French Alps in December, and was subsequently put into an artificially-induced coma a few days later.

But his management company said in a statement on Monday: "Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore."

Schumacher's family and manager last spoke about his health condition in the middle of April, stating that the German ace has "moments of consciousness and awakening."

But now manager Sabine Kehm confirmed Schumacher has been moved to a separate specialist clinic in Switzerland because he responds to outside stimulation - and can apparently see and hear.

She said: “Michael left the hospital in Grenoble to continue his long period of rehabilitation. He is no longer in a coma.

“His family would like to expressly thank the excellent work of  all physicians, nurses, carers and therapists in Grenoble in the past months, as well as thanking the first responders on the scene of the accident.

“The family thanks to all the people who sent so many good wishes Michael. You have really helped him. For the future we ask for understanding that his rehabilitation will take place outside of the public eye.”

Kehm also threatened legal action against journalists who dared to report on his therapy in the future.

At the weekend German magazine Bunte said while he was out of danger, the chances of his full recovery had nonetheless “dipped.”

But now, 170 days since he smashed his skull on to rocks while ski-ing at the resort of Meribel in the French Alps, Schumacher seems to have responded to the massive efforts to bring him out of the medically induced coma which first began four months ago.

But there is no telling how long his therapy might take or how much of his old self he can recover after close to six months unconsciousness.

Reports in Germany said 45-year-old father of two Schumacher can communicate with wife Corinne  and Corinna,45, and children Gina Marie, 17, and son Mick, 14.

One report said: “The specialists in Grenoble thought his condition so stable that he no longer requires their help."

Schumacher is thought to have lost a quarter of his body weight since the accident and has had his muscles and joints massaged daily since he was placed in intensive care following being airlifted from the crash site.

Schumacher is understood to have been transferred in an ambulance on Sunday to a rehabilitation clinic in Switzerland, not far from his home.

With an accumulated wealth estimated to be well over half-a-billion pounds, Schumacher’s family is well placed to provide the limitless care that will be needed in the coming years.

This will include  physiotherapists, to massage his atrophying joints, doctors, nutritionists, nurses and neurological experts.

Corinna and Schumacher met in 1991 on the F1 circuit after she was previously married to racing driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

She once said: “Michael’s passion for racing is just huge, it would have been impossible without this deep passion; this passion has made him, who he is. I got to know him as a racer, and I had previously always had fullest confidence in him.”

But she made him promise after a 2009 motorcycle accident in Spain that almost landed him in a wheelchair that the days of thrills and spills must be tempered. 

He referred to his marriage as “total harmony,” adding: “We have the same vision of how we want to spend our lives.  My wife Corinna and our harmonious family - that is my main force always at play in the background.”

She and her children sat  an almost constant vigil at his bedside since the accident, surrounding him with good luck charms, photos and letters from wellwishers.

June 16 2014, 17:08

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