Schumacher 'critical' after ski fall

Published Monday, 30 December 2013
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The retired Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is in critical condition after a ski accident on Sunday.

Schumacher 'critical' after ski fall
The emergency department at Grenoble, in the French Alps. (© Getty)

The German racing star fell and hit his head on a rock while skiing with his son at a luxury resort in Meribel in the French Alps and was later airlifted to The Grenoble University Hospital Center.

The 44-year-old underwent an operation after arriving at the medical centre, and remains in a critical condition.

Schumacher, who is a seven-time Formula One champion, is the most successful F1 driver of all time with a record 91 victories.

Professor Stephan Chabardes, the neurosurgeon who operated on the racing star, told a news conference on Monday morning: "Mr Schumacher was taken by helicopter very quickly to Grenoble Hospital. On his arrival we examined him clinically and we realised he was in a serious condition, in a coma, with in fact cranial pressure."

He said that the brain scan showed a number of pieces of information, some intercranial haematoma, but also some cerebral contusions and oedema.

"We operated urgently to try to eliminate the haematoma. After the operation we saw that we had been able to eliminate these haematoma but also sadly the appearance of various bilateral lesions.

"So therefore he was taken to intensive care to try to help."

Prof Payen said the hospital did not intend to carry out a second operation.

"We don't feel it is necessary at the moment," he said.

Schumacher's family are at his bedside.

A statement from Schumacher's agent, Sabine Kehm, read: "Michael fell on his head during a private ski trip in the French Alps. He was hospitalised and is receiving medical care. We ask for your understanding that we cannot give a running commentary on his state of health. He was wearing a helmet and was not alone.''

The director of the Meribel resort was earlier quoted as saying the injury, which happened at 11.07am local time, was "not very serious"

Actress Natasha Richardson died in 2009 after suffering a serious head injury in a fall at a Canadian resort. Initially she had not seemed to be seriously injured following the accident during a skiing lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec.

Schumacher has received an outpouring of support from the racing world, including from British F1 former world champion Jenson Button, who urged him to pull through.

"My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time. Michael, more than anyone, has the strength to pull through this," he tweeted.

Schumacher retired from F1 for the final time in 2012 after a three-season comeback with Mercedes.

Schumacher, who also raced for Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari, won the last of his world titles in 2004.

He won two with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before moving to Ferrari and winning five in a row from 2000. The German has 91 career wins.

His return to the sport with Mercedes after a spell in retirement was less successful. He managed just one podium finish in his three years with the team and a best end-of-season placing of eighth in 2011.

During his first period of retirement, in 2009, he was taken to hospital after a motorbike crash during testing at a circuit in Cartagena, Spain.

He did not suffer serious injuries on that occasion.

Meribel, an upmarket resort, hosted the ice hockey and women's alpine skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympics.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
8 Comments
ady in try one wrote (109 days ago):
@ Trevor... hope you can find one that fits your head !
barry in dungannon wrote (109 days ago):
ok trevor we get the picture you ski ,not much comment about the actual news article.
trevor portrush in portrush wrote (109 days ago):
I have skied this exact area for this past 5 years-it is a fairly safe area between 2 pistes.However as with all areas off piste it is not "bashed" or has rocks etc marked.My heart goes out to him that this should happen in what is normally a safe run just off Chamois-let us hope he pulls through-good luck Michael-will be thinking of you as we are skiing just down the valley at Les Arcs from this Saturday!!For the 1st time ever in 30 years I will be wearing a helmet
Ferrari Girl in Netherlands wrote (110 days ago):
My thoughts and prayers are with "Schumi" and his family at this sad tragic time. God Bless them.
Anthony in Spain wrote (110 days ago):
hope he pulls through Formula 1 Legend
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