MICHAEL Schumacher is no longer bedridden, according to reports from his Swiss home. But as the racing legend begins to make a recovery, a brain trauma charity highlights the difficulties he will face. Five years ago the legendary racing driver suffered a traumatic brain injury following a skiing accident on December 29, 2013. Since the harrowing accident details of the former Ferrari driver’s recovery have been sparse, with close family – including faithful wife Corrina – remaining secretive about his recovery.
The news that Michael has been making slow progress at his home in Switzerland has kept racing fans waiting with baited breadth, many hoping and praying for a glorious comeback from the F1 hero.
Sportsmail reported how the Ferrari driver is receiving nursing and therapy care, estimated to be in the region of more than £50,000 a week.
But the complexities of head trauma mean that every case is different, with Michael’s future in the sport still in doubt.
Speaking to Express.co.uk of Michael’s injury, Luke Griggs – spokesman for brain trauma charity Headway – explained how time can be a hinderance in a head trauma victim’s recovery.
Mr Griggs said: “Every brain injury is unique and it is notoriously difficult to predict outcomes. “At Headway, we know that with the right help, at the right time, there can be life after brain injury.
“However, the longer a person is in a coma or any form of prolonged disorder of consciousness, the less likely it is that they will make a meaningful recovery.
“A brain injury is unlike most other injuries in that it doesn’t simply heal in time. Access to specialist neurological rehabilitation can be crucial in helping people to regain lost skills, including the ability to communicate and move independently.
“But even with the best possible care, the extent of the injury will dictate the level of recovery that is possible.”
Last week, German magazine Bild reported how, in the run up to the anniversary of his accident, a German Archbishop close to the sportsman spoke of how the driver could “sense” his loving family around him after being in a coma for a long period of time.
Georg Gänswein said: “I sat opposite him, took hold of both hands and looked at him.
“He senses that loving people are around him, caring for him and, thank God, keeping the overly curious public away.”
His wife of 23 years, Corinna, has repeatedly requested privacy for her husband despite fans’ desperate pleas to know more about their sporting hero.
But Mr Griggs said despite the gradual return of sensory functions, the likelihood of a full return from Michael is “unlikely”, due to “prolonged disorder of consciousness” – and the time the driver spent unconscious following his fall.
Mr Griggs said of Michael’s possible return: “It is highly unrealistic to expect someone who has sustained a severe traumatic brain injury resulting in such a prolonged disorder of consciousness to ‘fully recover’ and managing expectations is an important part of the support process.”
Michael has not been in a coma since April 2014 when he was moved from Grenoble Hospital to one in Lausanne, Switzerland.
He was later brought back to his home in September that year.