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F1 champion Michael Schumacher has made “some progress”, a doctor who treated him for nearly six months after his brain injury in a skiing accident has said.
Jean-Francois Payen, a doctor at the French hospital in Grenoble where Michael Schumacher was treated, warned that any recovery would take time.
The typical convalescence period was one to three years, the doctor suggested.
Michael Schumacher, 45, was skiing in the French Alps last December when he fell and hit his head on a rock.
The seven-time world champion from Germany was placed in a medically induced coma to help reduce swelling in his brain as he underwent treatment in Grenoble and then in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Michael Schumacher was skiing in the French Alps last December when he fell and hit his head on a rock
Michael Schumacher has now been taken out of the coma and is being looked after at his home in Gland, Switzerland, where Prof. Jean-Francois Payen still visits him to track his progress.
On October 23, Dr. Jean-Francois Payen gave interviews to French radio station RTL and Le Parisien newspaper.
“I have noted some progress but I would say we should give him time,” he said.
Asked about the chances of Michael Schumacher making a recovery, Dr. Jean-Francois Payen only referred to a time frame for patients with similar brain injuries.
“It’s like for other patients, we are on a timescale which goes from one year to three years and we need to be patient,” he said.
The man arrested on suspicion of leaking Michael Schumacher’s medical files has been found hanged in his cell, Swiss police say.
The man, who has not been named, was a manager at Swiss air rescue firm Rega.
Michael Schumacher’s medical records were allegedly stolen and offered for sale to several newspapers.
Michael Schumacher’s medical records were allegedly stolen and offered for sale to several newspapers (photo Getty Images)
The ex-F1 champion suffered a head injury in a skiing accident in France last December and was flown by Rega to a Swiss hospital in June.
Prosecutors had been investigating a possible breach of privacy at Rega.
The suspect was arrested on Tuesday but denied any wrongdoing. He was found in his Zurich jail cell on Wednesday.
Michael Schumacher, 45, was transferred on 16 June from a hospital in the French city of Grenoble to Lausanne in Switzerland.
His medical documents were shared with the medical and rescue teams involved in planning his move, including Rega.
Michael Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, said last month that the F1 ex-champion’s medical files had been “clearly stolen” and were being offered for sale.
The records were apparently being offered to media across Europe for 50,000 euros ($68,000).
In June, Michael Schumacher’s family announced that he was no longer in the medically-induced coma aimed at reducing swelling in his brain.
According to French prosecutors, a Swiss helicopter company is at the centre of an inquiry into attempts to sell Michael Schumacher’s medical file, reports say.
Michael Schumacher, 45, was moved on June 16 from a French hospital to a hospital in Lausanne in Switzerland.
Although the former F1 champion was transferred by road, initial contact was reportedly made with the helicopter company.
Michael Schumacher suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident last December and has come out of a medically-induced coma.
Michael Schumacher suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident last December and has come out of a medically-induced coma (photo AFP)
His manager, Sabine Kehm, said last month that his medical files had been “clearly stolen” and were being offered for sale. She warned that criminal charges would be pressed if such “confidential files” were bought or published.
The medical records, said to consist of a few pages written by his doctors in the French city of Grenoble, were apparently being offered for sale to media across Europe for 50,000 euros ($68,000).
Now French and Swiss media say the prosecutor in Grenoble is looking at a computer whose IP address has been traced to a Swiss helicopter company, which was sent the medical files while the ex-champion’s doctors were considering how to transport him to Lausanne.
The latest development emerged in French newspaper Le Dauphine Libere, and Swiss media said it had been confirmed by the prosecutor in Grenoble.
Suspicions had initially fallen on the hospital in Grenoble and the ambulance team which eventually drove him across the border.
According to the Grenoble prosecutor, the computer was traced back to a helicopter company in the Swiss canton of Zurich. The company’s name has not been made public.
The file had been sent to a doctor at the company, although there was nothing to link the doctor to the alleged offence.
The news emerged last month when German newspaper Bild said it had received an email offering the medical files for sale. Swiss, French and UK tabloid newspapers were also said to have been approached.
The Grenoble prosecutor said the handful of pages of the medical file sent appeared to date back to late May, and referred not to Michael Schumacher but a pseudonym, Jeremy Martin.
It is thought the latest findings of the French inquiry will now be handed to the authorities in Switzerland.
Michael Schumacher’s family has said very little about his medical progress, preferring to avoid the gaze of the international media.
However, the Swiss media reported on Monday that Michael Schumacher’s wife Corinna had posed smiling for photographs at the weekend while visiting a horse ranch given to her by her husband.
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Michael Schumacher’s medical files are being offered for sale, his management team has warned.
Manager Sabine Kehm said it was unclear whether the documents were genuine.
However, Sabine Kehm said documents were “clearly stolen” and warned that criminal charges would be pressed if such “confidential files” were bought or published.
Michael Schumacher, 45, was placed in a coma after a skiing accident in December but has now left hospital.
It is not clear what the alleged medical data might contain or relate to.
Michael Schumacher was placed in a coma after a skiing accident in December but has now left hospital
However, in a statement Sabine Kehm said: “For several days stolen documents and data are being offered for sale. The offerer claims them to be the medical file of Michael Schumacher.
“We cannot judge if these documents are authentic. However, the documents are clearly stolen. The theft has been reported.”
She added: “The contents of any medical files are totally private and confidential and must not be made available to the public.
“We will therefore, in every single case, press for criminal charges and damages against any publication of the content or reference to the medical file.”
Michael Schumacher’s management team announced on June 16 that the F1 champion had left hospital in Grenoble in France and was no longer in a coma.
The seven-time F1 champion has been transferred to Lausanne university hospital in Switzerland.
Michael Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on December 29.
Medical experts say rehabilitation from this sort of injury could take months or years.
Michael Schumacher has left hospital after the skiing accident in France, and is no longer in a coma, his family has announced.
Michael Schumacher has left hospital after the skiing accident in France, and is no longer in a coma
“Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore,” his management company said in a statement.
“His family would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months.
“The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes to Michael. We are sure it helped him.”
“For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye.”
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Michael Schumacher is showing “moments of consciousness” after months in a coma, his agent Sabine Kehm has said.
Sabine Kehm said in a statement to the media that he was “making progress”, adding that they remain “confident”.
Michael Schumacher is showing “moments of consciousness” after months in a coma
Doctors in France have been working to bring the seven-time F1 champion out of a medically induced coma.
Michael Schumacher, 45, suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on December 29.
“We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble,” Sabine Kehm said in the statement.
“We would like to thank you all for the continuous sympathies. At the same time we again ask for understanding that we do not intend to disclose details.”
Last month Michael Schumacher’s relatives said in a statement that he had been showing “small, encouraging signs”.
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Michael Schumacher has been showing “small, encouraging signs” in his fight for recovery, the Formula 1 champion’s family says.
“We are and remain confident that Michael will pull through and will wake up,” the relatives said in a statement.
Doctors in France have been working to bring the seven-time champion out of a medically induced coma.
Michael Schumacher, 45, suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on 29 December.
He has been kept in a coma to help reduce the swelling in his brain.
Michael Schumacher has been showing “small, encouraging signs” in his fight for recovery
On Wednesday, Michael Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, released a statement on behalf of his family because of “an increasing interest in [his] condition in light of the start of the Formula 1 season”.
The family praised the efforts of the French doctors at Grenoble hospital, but also warned this was “a time to be very patient”.
“It was clear from the start that this will be a long and hard fight for Michael,” the statement read.
Investigators probing the accident said Michael Schumacher had been going at the speed of “a very good skier” at the time of his crash in the resort of Meribel.
He had been skiing off-piste when he fell and hit a rock, investigators said.
Experts reconstructed events leading up to the crash after examining Michael Schumacher’s skiing equipment and viewing footage filmed on a camera attached to his helmet.
Michael Schumacher retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career.
Michael Schumacher’s family is at his bedside as the German motor-racing champion fights for life following a skiing accident in the French Alps.
His manager, Sabine Kehm, said his wife, Corinna, daughter Gina Maria and son Mick are in a state of shock at the Grenoble hospital.
The seven-time Formula 1 champion suffered head injuries on Sunday in a fall at the resort of Meribel.
Michael Schumacher has been put in a medically-induced coma to relieve pressure on his brain.
“The family is not doing very well, obviously. They are shocked,” Sabine Kehm told reporters.
Prof. Jean-Francois Payen, of Grenoble University Hospital’s intensive care unit, told a news conference that they could not give a prognosis for the 44-year-old driver.
“He is in a critical state in terms of cerebral resuscitation. We are working hour by hour,” he said.
Prof. Jean-Francois Payen said that if MichaelSchumacher had not been wearing a helmet “he wouldn’t be here now”.
Michael Schumacher’s family is at his bedside as he fights for life following a skiing accident in the French Alps
“We had to operate urgently to release some pressure in his head,” the anaesthetist said.
Neurosurgeon Stephan Chabardes said that a post-operative scan had shown “diffuse haemorrhagic lesions” on both sides of Michael Schumacher’s brain.
Michael Schumacher is likely to stay in an induced coma for at least 48 hours, or even several weeks – and there can be many months of therapy in order to achieve as full a recovery as possible.
Doctors have lowered Michael Schumacher’s body temperature to 34-35C (93.2-95F) as part of the coma, slowing his metabolism to help reduce inflammation.
The driver had been skiing off-piste with his teenage son when he fell and hit his head on a rock.
Michael Schumacher was first evacuated to a hospital in the nearby town of Moutiers.
Prof. Stephan Chabardes said Michael Schumacher was in an “agitated condition” on arrival in Moutiers and his neurological condition “deteriorated rapidly”.
He was taken from Moutiers to the larger facility in Grenoble.
Messages of support have come from around the world.
A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and her government were, like millions of Germans, “extremely shocked”.
“We hope, with Michael Schumacher and with his family, that he can overcome and recover from his injuries,” the spokesman said.
Former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who recovered from life-threatening head injuries he suffered at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, wrote on Instagram: “I am praying for you my brother! I hope you have a quick recovery! God bless you, Michael.”
On Monday some fans had gathered outside the hospital in Grenoble.
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