Schumacher’s battle continues

BERLIN – Just as in previous years, he wanted to spend a few days skiing to celebrate the new year and his birthday with friends.

But a fall at the Meribel ski resort in France changed the life of Michael Schumacher and his loved ones in the most dramatic fashion.

Even a year after the tragic accident on December 29, 2013, it remains unclear whether Schumacher will ever recover enough to lead any semblance of a normal life.

“It is not possible to give any kind of reliable prognosis,” Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said recently.

Schumacher hit his head on a rock while skiing and spent the next days in a critical condition in hospital, followed by months in an induced coma in Switzerland.

His helmet was destroyed as a result of the crash and the seriousness of Schumacher’s condition only became apparent the following day when he was admitted to the University Clinic Hospital in Grenoble.

The expressions on the faces of the doctors treating Schumacher spoke volumes. His condition was described as “extremely critical” as the world learned that the seven-time world champion had sustained multiple brain injuries.

Schumacher’s fight for life unleashed deep emotions worldwide with regular television programming regularly interrupted to give updates on his condition.

The media circus that developed led wife Corinna to issue a written statement a week later, calling for the driver’s medical team and family to be left in peace so they could deal with the situation.

Schumacher was still fighting for his life on January 3, 2014, when he celebrated his 45th birthday, with the tragedy casting a shadow over the start of tests for the new F1 season.

“We are praying, wishing and hoping that a miracle takes place so that he wakes up the same person he once was,” said compatriot and friend Sebastian Vettel at the end of January.

Over 10 months later, on the 20th anniversary of Schumacher claiming his first F1 title, Vettel was on hand to present the Millennium-BAMBI award to Schumacher’s wife.

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