Former Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher has reportedly been in a coma after a skiing accident in Meribel, a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps.
The incident occured at around 11 a.m. Schumacher was skiing with his son when he fell at nearly 3000 feet and hit his head on a rock. Reports said the athlete sustained brain trauma even though he was wearing a helmet. After the accident, rescuers arrived and Schumacher was still conscious according to resort employees.
The 44-year-old German racer was brought by a couple of ski patrollers to a nearby hospital, Moutiers, approximately 15 minutes after the unfortunate accident. He was then transferred to Grenoble University Hospital Center, which specializes in serious head traumas and injuries.
Grenoble Hospital revealed that Schumacher arrived in their clinic in a coma due to brain hemorrhage brought by the skiing incident. Gerard Saillant, a trauma surgeon, had reportedly flown in from Paris to Grenoble to examine Schumacher's condition. Saillant was the one who operated Schumacher's leg after his crash in 1999 at the Silverstone race course.
According to the doctors at Grenoble Hospital, the racer's condition is critical.
"We ask for understanding that we cannot give out continuous information about his health," spokesman for Schumacher said. Nonetheless, the racer is being treated and receiving professional medical attention.
Following the sad news, messages of love and support came overflowing in Twitter and different social media Web sites.
Felipe Massa, Schumacher's former Ferrari teammate, took his feelings to Instagram. "I am praying for you my brother," Massa wrote on Instagram along with a picture of him and Schumacher. "I hope you have a quick recovery, God bless you Michael," he added.
English Professional Golfer Ian Poulter also tweeted and expressed his message of support for the German racer. "Really hoping Michael Schumacher comes thru his terrible skiing accident, wishing him well," Poulter wrote on Twitter.
Schumacher is known as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. He became the only driver in the F1 history to have finished in the top three in all the races of a season. He holds a number of F1 records, including fastest laps, most races won, and most championships. Schumacher celebrates his 45th birthday Jan. 3.
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