Former Formula One driver Michael Schumacher is still in a medically-induced coma Monday morning as he tries to survive a head injury from a skiing accident. The 45-year-old world-class racer, whose birthday is Friday, was injured Sunday at the French Alps.
File photo of Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher skiing in the northern Italian resort of Madonna Di Campiglio
The athlete is fighting for his life in a French hospital after he fell while skiing with his son and struck his head on a rock. He was taken from Maribel to a nearby hospital by helicopter and was comatose when he was transferred to Grenoble University Hospital Center.
According to experts, it was the helmet that Schumacher was wearing that saved his life and was conscious when the first emergency workers arrived on the scene. Reports says that he was agitated and in shock that an immediate surgery needs to be performed and doctors are currently monitoring the pressure in his brain.
"We cannot predict the future for Michael Schumacher," says Jean-Francois Payen, chief anesthesiologist at the Grenoble, France. "He is in a critical state in terms of cerebral resuscitation. We are working hour by hour."
Thanks to his helmet, Schumacher's life was spared. "Someone who had suffered this accident without a helmet would not have made it this far," said Payen.
According to BBC News, in the past two days alone seven people have died in the Alps from avalanches. Ski Club of Great Britain's safety adviser Nigel Shepherd says that there 24 to 26 people die each winter in France from avalanches alone, and not including accidents.
Sabine Khem, Schumacher's manager sent an email to "The Associated Press" and said that the athlete was on a private skiing trip when the accident happened. "We ask for understanding that we cannot give running updates on his condition. He wore a helmet and was not alone," said Kehm.
"The family is not doing very well obviously. They are shocked," added Kim.
A seven-time world champion, Schumacher is the most successful diver in F1 history and retired from racing for second time around in October 2012. A native from Germany, Schumacher broke his leg in a crash at Silverstone in 1999 and suffered neck and spine injuries in a 2009 motorcycle accident.
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