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Michael Schumacher’s “waking up” process taking its time
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Feb 2014   |  6:07 pm GMT  |  110 comments

Michael Schumacher has now been in a coma since December 29th – 46 days ago. The process of “waking him up” has been underway for two weeks; this is done by means of reducing the chemical sedation, which was keeping him in a medically induced coma, to control the swelling in his brain following his severe head injury. Schumacher suffered the injury when skiing in the French alps and is still in Grenoble Hospital.

In a statement released today by Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, the family are continuing to carefully guard his condition and there is no mention of the pneumonia which has been reported in the German media and which is common in cases such as this with a patient immobile for a long time.

“Michael’s family would like to again express their sincere thanks for the continuous sympathy coming from all over the world. The good wishes they receive help the family and, we are convinced they also help Michael, who still is in a waking up process.

“As often in such situation no day is like the next. The family is thankful for one’s understanding that they would not wish to disclose medical details in order to protect Michael’s privacy. As assured from the beginning we will continue to communicate any decisive new information on Michael’s health state. We are aware that the wake up phase can take a long time.

“The family continues to strongly believe in Michael’s recovery and place all their trust in the doctors’, nurses’ and nursing auxiliaries’ team. The important thing is not the speed of the recovery but that Michael’s heal process progresses in a continuous and controlled way.”

Schumacher’s wife is with him and very much part of the process of stimulating him back to consciousness, while FIA president and close friend Jean Todt has also spent extensive time at his former driver’s side.

Everyone in F1 continues to pray for a positive outcome for the seven times world champion.

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well, hope he can recover.


James it is time to cull this thread. This speculation and the uneducated statements are completely out of order. His privacy, and that of his family is paramount and should be respected completely. Please just delete it all.


why? surely posters are accorded the right to freedom of expression so long as it doesn’t cross the line. michael shumacher has a large ‘public persona’ and as such will draw the attention of huge numbers of people as witnessed across all the media.

are you suggesting that this thread, and comments contained, are an invasion of shumacher’s privacy?

are you suggesting that james pull his article in total, including all the comments? maybe it might just be better for you to ignore the thread entirely. this is a site dedicated to F1 and all it’s many corollaries be they either good, bad or indifferent. so long as it is personally inoffensive then the thread must be allowed to stand on merit.


Best wishes and speedy recovery.

The medical team has perhaps used a new technique where the lower the body temperature from the usual, which experts claim reduces the swelling in the brain, as the general functioning of the body slows down in a low temp situation.

We all hope and pray that he recovers soon.

Best wishes to his family, his well wishers, his friends, F1 fans.


your last sentence needs some qualification zombie. what is it that makes you so sure that shumacher will ’emerge victorious’? even the best qualified medicos that have ventured an opinion say that at this stage it is impossible to forecast what will happen to shumacher.

the most optimistic opinions, as opposed to assurances, say that he will, most likely, be a different person but to what degree is unknown. from there opinions slide from mildly vegetative into the realms of the completely unknown.


There’s nothing wrong in hoping, even if the odds are 99% against someone making it. I can’t imagine playing the realist in front of Schuy’s family right now. They deserve to hope. Let them and the fans be humans for a change. The prognostics, statistics, analytics can bask in glory another day. Schuy’s family want privacy; not speculations, even if they were true.


i don’t think that i mentioned anything remotely related to ‘hope’. nothing the matter with having hope for a desired result. my point was, in case you missed it,that the other poster was expressing a certainty. all i did was inject some possible ‘reality’ into the debate.

i would also attach some credibility to a suggestion that shumacher’s family would be well appraised of the posssible outcomes by the full medical team. yes, they would no doubt be hoping for a good result, that is natural but that would, i presume, be tempered by a clinical analysis.

until such time that there is a regular medical report issued speculation will continue unabated. that is also a natural response.


There are some comments on this board which makes me question humanity. For those of us who picked up F1 in the early 90s after the demise of Senna, retirement of Mansell and Prost, Michael Schumacher was the reason who drew us back to F1 and made us talk about the sport rather than be apathetic towards its affairs.

A lot of us grew up watching him race, his numerous wins, his struggles and victories at the Scuderia,his controversies and his towering achievements. It is natural to feel “connected” towards a person who has been such an integral part of our passion and interest.

James missed out reporting that his wife spends hours every day talking to Michael and hoping he wakes up. His close friend and colleague Ross Brawn and Jean Todt have made numerous visits to the hospital, and have also spent hours “talking” to Michael trying to wake him up ( all reported by BBC). Then there are those 71 heartwarming messages from Ferrari,each from a different person. Right from the CEO to the guy at the factory had a personal story to narrate.

Looks like those who knew him personally, he was more than just another quick driver. The man was and will forever be a legend. And I am sure he will emerge victorious from his greatest challenge yet.


For sure he is more than just a quick driver. The ruthlessly driven, perennially focused and work-addicted exterior most often belied the otherwise very private, slightly introverted, very loyal and committed human being who knew what his priorities were – prove to yourself that you can do something and find and share comfort, warmth and pleasure with loved ones and close acquaintances. The rest didn’t matter for him to address or fix. He did some of that in his comeback, though.

Nobody gets 7 WDC’s for just being quick. He wasn’t the quickest either. His success lies in him being able to inspire others in sharing a dream and fulfilling it as your good friend. He’s immensely talented, a great professional and a good human being with uncompromising values.

This combination is what is inspiring about him. The odd indiscretions simply don’t matter, because humans (unlike machines) are allowed to have some margins for error. And, the only reason his indiscretions are brought into question sometimes is because he is a legend – a word bequeathed from mythological tales of heroes and villains that we humans always think about, whether consciously or subconsciously. The real, non-mythical world has plenty shades of gray and flaws.

The fact that Michael has received so much support from around the world simply renders those many shades and some flaws completely irrelevant. As David Coulthard said, it takes something like this for you to know what you really think and feel about someone.

Fight it out, Michael. Get well! If not for us fans, do it for your family. They deserve it. A big admirer of human ingenuity and your fan from Nepal.


Get well soon Michael.


From reading ex Formula 1 doctor Gary Hartstein’s blog (Sid Watkin’s assistant for many years), it seems like the situation is looking extremely dire for poor Michael.

Whilst everyone hopes that he will pull through, the facts of severe brain trauma cannot be simply hoped away. From Gary’s analysis (and it’s excellent to say the least) of the Michael’s surgeon’s comments, he has lesions in the middle of his brain which is about as bad as it gets


@SteveJR, very many thanks for posting that link. to date that is the very best analysis that i have read and it certainly is enlightening to a layman like me.

i shall watch this site with extreme interest in future.


I miss his battles with Hill, Vielneuve, Hakkinen, Montoya, etc. All challenged but couldn’t beat the master. Hope he wins this battle too.


Oh they beat him…and he responded by smashing them.


That could be misinterpreted.

I should have said, he responded by kicking their butts.


I never said the guy was an angel Mr Chapman, just a hell of a Formula 1 driver.

Rascasse and Jerez were outrageous and outright cheating… and he has sailed awfully close to the line on other occasions.

We’ve all had bad days.


yes he certainly did….by way of parking his car across the track at rascasse/monaco. now that is really ‘kicking butt’ as you so succinctly put it.


Schumacher was one of the last real WDCs… and he will always have my respect for the daring drives he put on… unlike the modern Vettel and Button WDCs.

Hope he is okay soon.


I am disgusted with the press who continue to dig deeper into this poor guy’s fight for life. All his family want is to be there by his side and guide him from this dark place he is in. The papers are making claims that are pure speculation. They are doing this so that the hospital or PR will come out and correct them. They are forcing news out of people who are busy enough trying to ensure his survival. As a fan i am constantly scanning the web for the news of his waking,when you hear of his death,brain damage,muscle wastage it makes your heart sink, must his family feel?.we forget that our stars are human,they have faults and flaws and we all crave for news,But we must all stop and think,give them space,give them time and support when needed. The news will come when its ready dont force it.
My best to michael, he entertained us,he inspired us,he made us support Damon 😀


You’re disgusted with the press for continuing to dig deeper into this poor guys fight for life, yet you are constantly scanning the web for news about his fight for life?

No wonder modern media and news reporting is in the state it’s in.


There is a difference with waiting for news and forceing a comment. To report the truth seems to be beyond most rags and internet reports. I can see your confusion with the post but how else do you hear the news “he wakes”, my point is this,please let the family have their privacy, let the fans know when its appropriate.


I do not care what anyone says or what the statistics say. I say where there is life there is hope. I hope Michael makes a full recovery whether likely or not. We do not know how we got here, or really understand how life started. So who are we to say what will happen.

Kenneth and Alex if there turns out to be an entity thats responsible for life I hope that entity has a sense of humour when considering you guys.

More importantly good luck Michael.


All the best wishes to Schumi and his family!


It’s to be expected. They clearly want to very carefully bring him out of this in a controlled way to avoid any potential damage. They are the experts and know what they are doing to promote the best possible outcome. One can only wish him and family the best as we wait for news of him opening his eyes, and becoming relatively lucid. I suspect that moment and the time after will be quite scary for him as he re-learns of his misfortune. It will all take time to achieve a reasonable level of recovery.


Sometimes I don’t understand industry’s prorities, they put men on the moon 45 years ago but still can’t come up with a way to clear saliva from a person’s throat in intensive care — allowing 1/3 to 1/2 of patients on respirators to get pneumonia?

IMO reading between the lines he probably has it, but let’s hope not, and if he does have it, he’ll probably set an all-time record for beating it.


Exactly. And if you think about it, instead of spending zillions on weapons that could wipe the entire planet in seconds, we should have spent more of our resources on technology that could save people’s lives. This is one of the moments that reminds me of that.


Get well soon, Michael.

All the best to you and your family.

John in San Diego

I wish Michael a complete recovery. My thoughts are with his family. He kept us entertained on and off since 1991. We should give give him and his family something back. My best wishes to the Schumacher family.


Shades of Graham Hill about this, all that F1 danger then tragedy right after retirement. Still crossing my fingers for the Reigenmeister.


Pironi had an accident whilst he was a Formula One driver. He hadn’t retired then died in a boating accident..


Not quite correct, I’m afraid. Having accepted a large insurance payout based on the impossibility of his returning to Formula One, Pironi had in fact retired and taken up powerboat racing.


Im taking hope of brawns comment about “no negativess” and massa’s encouring words coupled that with this statement that his family believe in a recovery.

But as a realist its very hard to deal certainly doesnt look good… Cheered him ever since i came to follow f1 13/14 years ago. Now 23 and i only have one poster on my room and thats of michael winning his 7th championship in spa.

Whatever the outcome may be i will always remember him as that guy on my poster…

He had his black moments in his career but so did senna but more importantly i believe both men where although tainted, good guys with a good heart and in the end of the day that really matters..


whilst not wishing to criticise others sentiments i need to actually question what exactly is meant by people when they post in public that shumacher is in ‘our prayers.? do people still close their eyes and attempt to summon up special metaphysical treatment from some mystical deity in order to intervene in the outcome of a serious injury to an individual person who is presumably being attended to by the best medical practitioners available?


An inappropriate comment at best…


Yup, the same “mystical deity” that created the universe we live in. Please tell me you are wise enough to know that matter (whether a tiny pre-bang spec, or everything in it’s “created” glory) HAD to come from somewhere.

I agree – I hope people don’t just say the word’s, but do pray to God for comfort (& even better, healing both physical and emotional) for Michael and his family.

Don’t want to start a religion debate, but your bash could not be left alone (nor is this thread really the place for it).

I too am praying for Michael and his family.


my post was self explanatory, i thought. the reason why i asked the question was that many other posters introduced the ‘theistic’ debate by qualifying their post with comments relating to ‘prayers’. i simply tried to put the religious theory to the test, vis-a-vis my query.

i certainly don’t wish ill on shumacher as another human being and at the end of the day that is what shumacher is, just another human being. that said however i feel that there should be some perspective. as a dyed in the wool cynic i question the outpourings of ‘conspicuous compassion’ when events such as this occur.

only last week i revisited some of shumacher’s on track digressions, his attempt to drive barrichello into the wall for instance. barrichello came within millimetres of possible death and destruction and i asked myself, is this the same guy who everyone is ‘praying ‘for? if i drove like that on a public road i would finish up being incarcerated with good reason

we all are entitled to our opinions in a free society but i do sometimes question this reliance on the invocation of mysticism in the 21st century!


Well i would love to hear your view about senna then or webber for intance.

From 1:17. onwards,same stuff not a bad word about it. Depends on charisma probaly…


Weather it be a “prayer” to that person’s god to look over Michael, or from a non religious person like myself simply sending positive energy his way, surely it can only be a good thing?

It takes certain events to bring out the good side in humanity. It stops the bitterness and negative comments towards the “sportsman” and changes to compassion and positivity towards the human being.

The great thing about humanity is we are all different, but all the same.

Please allow people to express their thoughts and prayers in a way they see fit and try not to be so cynical in your comments towards them.

I truly hope Michael makes a recovery of some sort, for his sake and for his wife and kids sake.



as i said, i don’t wish to criticise other peoples sentiments’. i simply don’t see the point in declaring that ‘they’ are ‘praying’ by posting on a public forum? that as well as questioning a belief in an archaic form of mysticism. to my way of thinking,cynically i suppose, that it is some form of literal ‘selfie’.

as for your statement re sending ‘positive energy’ i would welcome some further enlightenment as to this phenomenon from a scientific POV.

i happen to have lived for the last 14 years on the fringe of our country’s biggest alternative lifestyle fraternity. snake oil is a common property there. in my experience ‘positive energy’ resides alongside as a saleable item to the milleaux.

no offence my friend, just another opinion.


KC, I want to add something to your questioning of positive energy and needing some enlightenment from a scientific POV.

I am not religious despite being raised a Roman Catholic, but that’s my choice.

I believe there is energy in everything in the universe but I have no understanding of quantum physics.

I would rather be positive in my self than negative for obvious reasons.

But when it comes to science, it has been proven for centuries that science is only correct for a brief period in time because new discoveries provide new understanding.

If you doubt me, we now live on a spherical planet, we won’t die if we go faster than 30mph and we can fly in aircraft and thats just the simple stuff!


Let us both just say ” ah well, everyone to their own” and go on ‘hoping’ thatb Mr schumacher makes some kind of positive recovery.

Inlakesh my friend.


I’m not religious so I don’t understand it either, but at the very least it can’t hurt.

Each to their own man.


No doubt millions of people do try talking to their imaginary friend to help Schumi. Non belivers too can still have him “in their prayers”, just not in a literal sence.


Agree with you, but hope is a good thing morally so it’s alright I feel and lifts the spirit up for his family. Medically Schumi is getting the best. I don’t pray but wish him well too.


Really? This is hardly the place for a theistic debate.


The first time I saw Michael was on the Schumacher stand at the Aus GP in 99. Ever since then I followed him to many races around the world, watched every race, read every article. In my eyes you were bigger than life. I wish you the best my friend.


Me too 🙂 Fingers crossed.


I don’t post very often anymore and I’ve deliberately avoided this subject for a number of reasons, not least because of the number of drivers that suffered on track during my youth (God bless Jackie Stewart, et al), which seems to make Schumacher’s post-career predicament all the more horrible. I’ll never forget witnessing Siffert’s fiery accident at Brands Hatch in ’71 for example.

So, it’s way beyond time that, for whatever it’s worth, I wish Michael and his family the very best for the most comprehensive recovery possible. Michael, despite the occasional flaws in driving etiquette, is one of the all time F1 greats and, I firmly believe, essentially a good man with some great core values.

John in San Diego

Very well put. I, too, was at the non-championship race at Brands Hatch in 1971 when Jo Siffert was killed. Thankfully, I was not in view of the accident. A very sad day indeed.


Well said.


Thanks. Good to hear from you again


Hoping for the best!


Schumacher has been unconscious for 46 days and counting. It’s sad that the fanatics continue to make a spectacle of themselves.


Thank you for the update James.

It would be great to welcome him back to this world. Whatever his condition may be.


Get well soon Schumie we all need you back hopefully very soon.xxxxxxx

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