F1 Winter Break
Schumacher “critical” as surgeons induce coma following ski accident
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Dec 2013   |  11:56 pm GMT  |  142 comments

It has now become clear how severe the situation is for seven times world champion Michael Schumacher, following his ski accident this morning.

According to a statement this evening from the hospital in Grenoble where he is being treated, the German is in a “critical” condition, in an induced coma following emergency surgery to reduce swelling in the brain.

The next 48 hours are critical, according to neurological experts, to observe whether the swelling continues or not. After that neurological tests can be carried out to assess what damage the brain has sustained.

Schumacher was skiing off piste in one of Meribel’s most challenging ski areas, when he fell and struck his head on a rock. He was wearing a helmet but the blow was severe. He was taken first to a local hospital and then airlifted to Grenoble.

“Mr Schumacher was admitted.. at 12-40 following a ski accident at Meribel this morning,” said a statement from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble.

“He was suffering from a serious brain trauma with a coma when he arrived, which necessitated an immediate neurological intervention.

“He remains in a critical condition.”

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Please pull through Michael.


To anyone wondering what it was like to lose Senna at the time, image a news bulletin tomorrow that announces Schumacher is clinically dead. But that during a heated season.

This reminds me of that day in May 1994.

Schumacher also has an air of steel around him like Senna did. A prayer that he pulls through this. Get well soon Schumacher.


Get well soon champ!

So sad to hear - this man was part of my youth.


This is horrible news. I´m very sad right now


I just keep telling myself that Massa went into a coma too and he came out fine.

But I’ve been extremely dissapointed in how the news of all this has been handled. So many differing statements.

I hope this ends well, he is a legend of the sport and I hope to see him around it for many years to come


This sounds like an approach (procedure/treatment) similar to what they did for Mike Hakinen (sp?) when he crashed the McLaren heavily in the late 90's and even though it was highly experimental (as remembered) at that time he apparently recovered rather well.

Gives hope for similar results for M.S.


Mika Hakkinen for spelling. And 1995 to specificy the year. 🙂


Horrible to read about the worsening situation for Schumacher. Thinking of him and hoping they can control things and he'll make a full recovery.


The prayers of all motor sport fans worldwide are with the Schumacher family at this time.

I hope the media can respect their privacy and provide the space they need to navigate through this terrible period.

God Bless you Michael for all you have given to the F1 world and all that you still have to give to the world in general.

This is but another challenge for you to overcome as you have done countless times before.


I want to see Michael doing post race interview on the podium in germany or monza in 2014 !!


This is horrible.



Thanks for the article James. More informative than anything else out there.


It sounds like Schumi is in the care of a talented group of physicians and specialists. I pray he has a speedy and complete recovery.


Get well soon Schumi. Hope you come out the other side with everything still working.


Oh my god..

My thoughts are with him and his family.


Terrible news

Never my favourite driver but obviously one of the all time greats. And for this to happen so soon after his retirement make it all the worse

My thoughts are with Michael and his family



Just praying for a speedy recovery.


Oh God. No no no.


He's fought in some tough races such as Spa 95, Hungary 98 and Suzuka 2000, this is toughest, and knowing Schumi, he's not going to give up without a fight! Come on Michael!!!


Michael is my hero, I am 48 and I have watched him race for years. However at present I am not thinking of his driving, I am simply praying for him. God bless him and be near to him and his family.


He's a fighter, a winner, and fitter than most 44 year olds so there are many positives but even so this remains a deeply worrying situation.


Hope he gets through, we don't want to lose a legend in a silly skiing accident. Go Michael!


he'll be fine. he's a very fit fighter who has pleased million f1 fans for many years.


This gets worse by the hour.The blood was seeping from under his helmet into the snow.It is now up to God, as it seems he has had the best treatment available.Terribly sad,and so tragic and his birthday is next week..


Terrible news, my thoughts are with his family. I wish him a full and speedy recovery!


Our thoughts & prayers are with you. Get well soon.


Fight you biggest battle yet, you have friends and family, supporters, fans and life here now!

It almost drove me to tears while I read this, I feel I cannot sleep.

I really did not expect it would hit me this much, her really is a part of my youth.

If anybody has the will, you have it!


I had a bad feeling about Michael and his horse riding, thoughts of Christopher Reeves accident went through my head, but this was unexpected. My best wishes for a recovery to you Michael, (my favorite driver of all time), God bless.


Hope he gets well soon.


Horrid news get well soon


I find this so shocking and upsetting. I truly hope he pulls through and has a good recovery. My best wishes to him and his family and friends.


It does not sound good. I hope he pulls through. Very sad day


Come on Schumi. F1 won't be the same without you. A living legend, let's hope you stay that way.


Good God. Praying for his getting well.


I pray for his recovery and his family must know that everybody who follows the sport will pray for him.


He's a fighter and should be able to pull through this one. All the best champ and hope you have a speedy recovery.


Wow !

I went to bed last night thinking he was ok after initial reports his injuries weren't serious.

This is terrible news.

I hope his fitness and mental strength contribute to him making a full recovery.

All the best wishes from Australia to Schumi & Family.


I hope he gets better but these are not good news. I know it from first hand cause I lost my mother from same condition. I just hope his fit and fairly still young body will play most important role and allow him fast recovery! Our hopes are with you Michael!


Thanks, James for keeping us updated on this. Most of the 'popular' news sites (at least in North America) seem to have old info. I really, really hope he come through this OK.


Get well soon champ.

Always unexpected when a star in one of the world's most dangerous sports gets seriously injured doing something else.


Come on...don't let this year end this way.

Pray, send good energy, hope.


My thoughts are with MS and his familly.

I really hope he comes through this.

Thinking of you Michael!!


Terrible news to mar the holiday season. Best wishes Schumi!


In absolute shock... when I was young, Schumi seemed indestructible. I can't believe his life is now in danger. But, if anyone is capable of a fight back and winning against the odds... it's him. COME ON SCHUMI!!!


Your biggest fan from Pakistan. Michael please pull through this, praying for you and your family. Come on Champ.


Conflicting statements James. Statement says he was admitted in a coma, but it implies elsewhere coma was induced.

This is important information. Did he arrive in a coma or did they induce the coma before he was moved to another hospital?

And how long between accident and admission to hospital? I am left with the impression that we are talking an hour or more as he is in 12:40 but accident happened in the morning.

I'm not getting good vibes out of these details.


That is what it clearly says in the CHU statement.

My understanding therefore is that the coma must have been induced in the first hospital (Moutiers) and so he arrived in that condition at the second.

Listening to neuro experts with whom I'm appeared on BBC news shows in the last 18 hours, it seems that inducing a coma is essential to slow the swelling of the brain. But surgery is also needed to open up the skull to relieve pressure.

Only after swelling has stopped and patient is stable can they start observing to what extent the brain has been damaged by the trauma


My understanding (from the most current info) is that while M.S. was conscious when the attendants first arrived at the accident scene, he fell into a coma before he reached the first hospital. This required immediate neurological attention. Then a second coma was "induced" to prevent further swelling.


Yes, I've seen this in a reputable news source. This is not a good thing.


Really really big thank you for your effort oft providing US Witz information. I lost my dad this yeas unexpectedly and our big common interest was f1 and he was the biggest Schumi fan. Brings it all back terribly but I really hope things go well for Michael!!!


A cruel twist of fate for a legendary man and racer. Wishing you a swift and speedy recovery!


Thanks for the continuous updates James. It's not fair, world is too unfair. Can't help being so emotional. Never in a million years I thought this day would come. God can't take another hero out of our lives. that's cruel


Wow life can be so cruel, the man has just had the most successful career out of any racing driver and barely started to enjoy his retirement this happens. The [mod] can think what they like about Schumi but even in his 40's during the 2012 season he often qualified way ahead of Rosberg and its clear a prime MS would destroy the entire field barring Vettel and Alonso perhaps, no doubt he'd beat them though. What a legend the only ever driver that had Senna truly rattled in the early 90's, I didn't enjoy his domination in the early 2000's but during his 2nd career I was actually cheering for him, come on surely life can't be this cruel and I genuinely will be praying for him to recover, if only that damn ROC wasn't cancelled maybe this wouldn't have happened.


He may well have been wearing a helmet, but if your skull stops, your brain does not,there are two main supplies to the brian, plus many other small vessels, I hope he gets better.


I really hope he pulls through..

Larry Kwiatkowski



Oh man! My prayers are with Schumi! Get well!!!


Prayers for him and his family. Hope he recovers completely and has no lasting problems.


Cannot begin to explain how much this hurts. I hope he's ok, I really do. God damn Schumi, you've got to be ok.

unF1nnished business

If there was any time he needs the pace it is now. God speed to a full recovery Michael.


I pray and hope Allah gets him through this , God bless you Michael .


Be positive. My best wishes to his family during this terrifying time.


Schumacher has always been a bit of a daredevil. Hope he makes OK this time. I suspect he will.


I hope he will be okay, as he is my favor F1 racer.


Let's pray he wins this one.

Get well soon Schumy.


Hope he feels better soon and recovers well...My prayers are with him...


My prayers for Michael's recovery.

How quickly they were able to relieve the pressure in the cranium is critical. The initial reports of a non-serious injury are disappointing. They imply that those with Michael underestimated the severity of his injury. As time is critical in these injuries, it's not good that they didn't recognize the severity of his injury, immediately.


I suspect the initial reports were just P.R. They say he was attended to within minutes of his accident and he was airlifted to a hospital within an hour.


I'm not so sure. Many cranial injuries seem minor initially, as there is no obvious skull injury, and the person may have other visible injuries like broken bones. The person may even walk or talk. Only later, when the person collapses, do they realize the gravity of the situation.

James' explanation of the situation seems to fit that Michael initially was "agitated", so he was not initially unconscious. He was not in a coma until he reached the 2nd hospital. Time is of the essence. Brain swelling needs to be relieved as quickly as possible. You can imagine the swelling has nowhere to go, and thus can cut off the oxygen supply to critical areas of the brain. There's not much time when that happens.

The doctors won't know until later, but I'm worried. It takes time to get off a mountain, even by helicopter to a local hospital. It takes more time for the initial assessment and then a transfer by helicopter to a trauma hospital. Then they did imaging studies of the skull. Finally, they did a surgical procedure to address the bleeding and swelling. That's a lot of time.

Did you follow the Natasha Richardson case at Mt. Tremblant, Canada? Some similarities.


Yes, I live in Montreal so the Natasha Richardson story got a lot of press, (Mount Tremblant is just north of here). She refused medical attention and returned to her room.

From a timeline I saw, the first responders reached M.S. within 6 minutes. The fact that he received immediate treatment and that he was wearing a helmet probably prevented a much more dire outcome.


Come on Michael, our thoughts and prayers with you to pull through. God bless you!


Continuing to cross my fingers for the legend.


I've been following this story since the start, hoping it will just dissipate, go away, or he'd (Schumi) come out and say 'well that's was close'. But the story is just getting worse.

I hope, as we all do, that he survives. But more than that, I hope he isn't permanently severely injured and lives and lingers in a terrible state.

In my opinion, Schumi was the best of all time in his pomp. He dominated an F1 that I very much liked. Super fast, crazy, ballsy and extreme. He represents that era, which I think was the most challenging driving wise.

Schumacher V Hakkinen 2000 was the season that had the most subtext, pressure and pure speed for me.


This is much more serious than I thought based on the previous reports.

Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this time.


May God be with him.

This is not the best news, but if anyone has the chance to pull through, it would be Michael, he's got the winning spirit. It takes something extra special to be 7 time World champ.

Good luck Michael and get well soon.


We pray for a full recovery.


Thoughts with the Schumi family at this time. Hopefully there will be a positive outcome.


The only word I can think of is "Why?".

Hope Michal will be ok.


My best wishes champ! Some people doubted u as a driver. But everyone knows what a big heart u have (e.g donating 10 million from the pocket to tsunami victims) our heart beats for you. Get well soon.


Hes a fighter best wishes to him an his fsmily


A very worrying update, lets all keep everything crossed, and pray for the best possible outcome.

My very best wishes to you Michael.


I've never been a big fan of MS, not even in the early Jordan and Benetton days, BUT I have utmost respect for his achievements not only in F1 but as a humanitarian. My thoughts are with him and his family.

Here is wishing the legend speedy recovery!


Wow it's not often you see this kindness from people who don't like him


Absolutely stunned. I really hope he pulls through...


Seems wearing a helmet is not worth much for safety. Schumacher, Reeve, Massa, Senna, and how many others got concussed / paralyzed / killed despite wearing good helmets.


Without helmets they'd be dead, not concussed. The doctor said without a helmet M.S. would not have survived.


Perhaps it is better to say 'it is a good thing that he WAS wearing a helmet.'



I have been thinking how much worse it would have been without one.

Get better soon MSC


Mike84, I think your comment is incorrect on many levels and is perhaps even a bit reckless. There are times when even wearing a helmet will not save you but we don't hear just how often someone walks away from an incident which would have killed them instantly if they had not been wearing a helmet.

The examples you give are also mostly poor choices. Reeve crushed his C-vertebrae by landing on his head. His brain and skull was not injured due to wearing a helmet. Massa would certainly have died instantly if he had not worn a helmet and the same is true of Schumi according to the doctors caring for him now. Senna was unlucky to have been hit by such a large part of the wheel/suspension. That said, I wonder if the latest helmet and HANS technology might have saved even him.

Plenty of motorcyclists, cyclists, riders and racers owe their lives to wearing a helmet whether voluntarily or due to rules. We should be careful not to undermine that in any way.


Even in the best cases a helmet is only going to do so much.

In Senna's case to say he was very, very unlucky would be understating it, but if none of those four had been wearing helmets you would most likely be looking at four out of four DOAs.

It's better to wear a helmet - even a small chance is better than no chance.


I understand the news got many of us so emotional, but I strongly disagree with your statement about helmet and safety. Don't want to go deeper in discussing your arguments but as motorsport fan I think we need to defend the importance of safety level achieved throughout the years paying big prices in term of our hero losses and thanks to the efforts of great ones like professor Watkins.

Get well soon Michael!

Krishna Kishor Bhat

Praying for well being of Schumi...


I know he's a big risk-taker, but he's also a family man and a charity worker and a character I've warmed to over the years - I feel very sorry for him coming to this. I wish him all the best.


Come on Michael you can get through this. We are all hoping and praying for you.


When I first heard the news I dismissed it out of hand. Now... Just seems a little surreal. Wishing you a full recovery Michael.


Michael will pull through we are praying for him

Thread the Needle

Come on Michael you can make it


My thoughts are with Michael and willing him a full recovery. You can do this Michael.


Micheal u can get through this. We r all praying for u


I'm sure Schumi is getting the best medical care. Shocked to hear he is critical on the news. The initial reports in oz weren't so pessimistic.

One thing we know is that he is a fighter. Get well soon Michael.


Guess this shows how much he needed the adrenalin trip.

People like him are always in danger when they step away from their area of expertise. For example Australian naturalist Steve Irwin killed in water.

Thoughts are with you and your family Michael. Please pull through and finish the race.


Life is strangest occurrence and miracle in its own right. I pray for Michael and his family. I am looking forward to his full recovery with no consequences.


My thoughts are with Michael and his family at this time.

I Pray that the press conference at 10AM will be good news.


Hope all gets good...

Just read that there was a second surgery with more holes drilled into the skull to reduce pressure.

If it isn't getting better ... I hope that docs know when to stop fighting. I had a case as firefighter when a young doc reanmated 5 times and the victim is just a living hull now.

I hope and pray for the best, but i also hope that if not he wouldn't suffer from a VIP status like we can't allow him to die at our hospital. There is life and there is just a pumping heart. I think he has a written will what to do in such cases

Toi toi toi ... Really hope all gets good.


You're jumping to conclusions. The French report of a second surgery has been confirmed to be false. The situation is critical but the doctors have seen plenty of reasons for optimism. Have some faith.


Michael, I never met you but I consider you as one of my very best friends. Every time I read another news piece on this story or hear an update on the radio, I well up inside. After all the races God has looked after you, I pray he will do so again.


Get well soon, champ! Hoping you make a quick (and full) recovery from this set back.


We're praying for your full recovery Michael. You've always been a fighter and I'm sure you'll pull through.


Come on Michael. Win this.

Thoughts and sincere best wishes for you and your family.

Eagerly awaiting for some good news.


Our thoughts are with you Michael and your family. Get well soon...



Shocking news this was yesterday. The first reports gave me the feeling of "he will get better soon and back on the slopes as he did so often in F1". Hearing the worsening of his condition, especially the word "critical" made me feel sick, shocked.

I truly wish him a full recovery and my thoughts are with his family, his wife and kids.

And Michael, while you are on it, do a lap of the Gods, but come back please. We, I, miss you.


Get well soon Schumi


My thoughts are with Schumi and his family today, best of British and be strong.


If the coma is induced can they bring him out of it easily? Hope everything goes well.


Very sad I'm afraid even if he makes it through this the Micheal we new will be gone forever .


The fact that Michael is even able to fight for his life is testament to how crucial head-protection is. Whether you are a cyclist, F1 driver or skier, helmets may not be able to completely prevent injury, like in the case of Felipe Massa, but they will usually save your life.


All wishing for a good recovery thinking of Michael in these difficult times , James please make sure these messages can get passed onto the Schumacher family his own website looks like it`s crashed



Please pull through this Michael.

This is devastating im so emotional!

Michael you showed us how to win dominantly with Ferrari.

You showed us how to lose humbly with Mercedes.

Please show us how to win one more time my thoughts are with you and your family.

God Speed


Very sad news - all the best wishes for a speedy return to normal life.

In my country (Canada) too many people are killed or injured enjoying winter sports by straying from the approved boundaries. Perhaps this will act as a caution.


It'll take more than this to catch up with our Michael!!

Prayers with you mate!!!


Hi James

I've been following the news on Schumacher over the last 24 hours, and hope he makes a good recovery.

Sounds like a bad accident, and at times like this we've got to remember he's a family man first and foremost.

On another note, hope you have had a good Christmas break, and wish you and your family well for 2014.




Anybody who believes that MS is now fighting for his life because he hit a rock skiing back country ought to have their heads examined.

It reminds me of a song, "Nothing as it it seems...."

We'll probably never find out what is really going on, but here are the facts:

1. Michael Schumacher, lots of people adore, and lots of people feel an opposite way about him.

2. He lives in Switzerland, and I think it is reasonable to assume that he is very, very good at skiing.

3. He was wearing a helmet, I assume that the helmet did in fact offer a good degree of protection.

4. Yes, this is a man who lived on the edge, in his professional career,

5. But also, was meticulously prepared and able to find the 'edge' in EVERYTHING

wasn't that one of his most special gifts?

The idea that such a person could go back-country (off the established pistes) skiing, run into trouble so that he wiped out and injured his head, with helmet on, so that he now 'fights for his life' with potentially severe brain trauma is incredibly remote, and I can't buy it.

I don;t know what's going on, but it is incredibly unlikely to be as it is being presented in the media.

Good luck MS; I can't say I'm one of the adoring fans, but I can respect the facts of what you have accomplished.


My, my; tut, tut; blah, blah, blah, (it's not nice to write those things).

Of course the story is not impossible; I openly admit to its inherent possibility.

But as is often the case, these days, there are several strange things about the media carpet-bombed 'facts', (above and beyond the now common place media carpet-bombing of 'stories'; that's what they are, 'stories'), the selection of details, some times out-of-place, yet repeated over-and-over-and-over again; don't you wonder why?

So for all of you 'tut-tutters', of my in-good-faith contribution, above, why don't you just take fifteen minutes, and find out that the Schumster would have been wearing at least the market leading helmet, specifically designed for such an accident, as described, (so many times, always vaguely, but) involving, supposedly, a rock, and presumably, a single, or very few number of impacts, and then review the medical reports [from The Canadian Press, via the CBC website, "It looks like probably that initiating a corner, he was hitting a stone which he had not seen and was catapulted down on a rock," Kehm said in English. "That is extremely and very unfortunate ... really very, very bad luck. Michael was not at high speed."] This is an evolution of the original story, in which there were inadequate detail to plausibly explain such severe injury.

First a description of the damage was, "...a brain scan performed late Monday showed bruising "a little bit everywhere" in Schumacher's brain."

Now it evolves, such comments as, "...a large haematoma on the left side of his brain."

Autosport offers us this:

"Payen added that judging by the extent of the injuries that Schumacher suffered, it was clear his impact with rocks had not been at slow speed.

"Taking into consideration what we have observed, that despite a helmet he arrived with lesions that were quite severe, the shock must have taken place at high speed."

Professor Stephan Chabardes said that the injuries suggested that Schumacher had hit the rocks with the right hand side of his head.

Payen added that judging by the extent of the injuries that Schumacher suffered, it was clear his impact with rocks had not been at slow speed.

"Taking into consideration what we have observed, that despite a helmet he arrived with lesions that were quite severe, the shock must have taken place at high speed."

Professor Stephan Chabardes said that the injuries suggested that Schumacher had hit the rocks with the right hand side of his head."

I'm not trying to goad anybody, and as has been mentioned, nothing impossible in it... but Schumi?!?


There is nothing remotely impossible about the story up to now. It's totally believable. People suffer brain injuries while skiing and while wearing helmets all the time.


There is nothing remote about the chances of a person falling while skiing in the back country...professional skiers and snowboarders have serious injuries (and worse) every year.
It is pretty hard to imagine this being anything other than what has been presented in the media, [mod]


Mr. Cassady; cynicism is not the same thing as wisdom nor ill reasoned skepticism a substitute for facts.


Why on earth should we not believe that the story of his accident is not true? People die on the slopes all the time, Dean. I appreciate your concerns for Schumacher's recovery but I find it sad that you had to add to the misinformation that has been floating around since the time of his accident. And thanks for letting us know you weren't a Schumacher fan, none of us would have been able to guess that.


Michael! Can you hear me?! Make this your win number 92!! Don't let it slip away … we need you to come back.

You did very well against Rosberg. A likely future champ.


It was shocking to hear this new about Michael. I feel he can come through and be all right.

Get well soon Michael!!


terrible news... hope he gets well soon, hr is part of billions childhood, I don't want to lose part of childhood


Forza Michael hope you can make it.


I was away for a few days camping. My wife called me from her office this morning to tell me about Schumi. I almost cried. I am very sad after reading about this. We are praying for you and your family Micheal. You have always been a fighter and I feel sure you will get through this.


Like many on this site and millions around the world I too was shocked to hear about this. My hopes and prayers are with his family at this time.

The mdecial staff are doing their upmost, your family are by your bedside and millions of us around the world are behind you...so don't give up, keep on fighting Michael


My thoughts are with you Michael. God be with you!


This news messed up my Formula 1 year. I now dread even to follow the news fearing the worst. Praying for Michael right now. Hope he pulls through this. We love you Michael here in Africa.


We LOVE you here in Africa!


I was shocked to hear of Michael Schumacher's accident, which I have been following. Best wishes to him for a speedy and complete recovery. My thoughts are with him and his family at this terrible time.


Our thoughts are with Michael and his family. Hoping for a full recovery.

Get Well Soon M.S

I most of all feel sorry for the poor fourteen year old kid who had to watch his father get so heavily injured. My thoughts and prayers are very much with his family as well as him to have a speedy recovery. Having only watched Rush recently this feels eerily similar to Niki Lauda's incident then recovery. I just pray that he returns to his original fitness, i would cry if i saw a permenantly damaged schumi even worse, no schumi at all. Without a doubt i feel that he will recover with his biggest victory, number 92. Get well soon mate!


Very sad story ...James I wonder about one thing: in a situation where every minute counts is it clear to you why had to make a stop in Moutier first before finally being taken to the hospital where the operation was conducted ? Just curious.

Get better Michael we love you!


No, that's one of the questions that will be answered, like did he have a guide or was he just taking a short cut between pistes through the powder snow?

Looking at a photo of the area where he is believed to have crashed, there are a lot of rocks around


Positive thoughts for Schuey. You can do this champ!

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