Doctors treating seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher for injuries suffered during a skiing accident have started lowering his sedation level to wake him up from an artificial coma and first signs are positive.
The most successful Formula 1 champion of all time, has been in a critical but stable condition for more than four weeks in a hospital in the eastern French city of Grenoble.
Schumacher has “blinked” and is “responding to simple instructions” according to the latest unofficial developments to emerge from the Grenoble hospital, after the Formula 1 legend’s manager confirmed reports doctors are attempting to ease Schumacher out of his month-long coma.
France’s L’Equipe, having broken the news about the awakening process, now reports on Thursday that the great German has “blinked” his eyes as Dr Emmanuel Gay performed neurological reflex tests.
And Britain’s Sky News quoted unnamed sources as saying the former Mercedes and Ferrari driver was now “responding to simple instructions”.
Earlier his spokesperson, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement, “Michael’s sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking-up process, which may take (a) long time.”
The accident prompted an outpouring of concern from fans of the German racing driver, who has undergone two operations.
A spokeswoman for the hospital declined to make any further comment on Schumacher’s condition on Thursday.
Investigators have been trying to determine how fast Schumacher was skiing when he hit the rock. French police have said that the slope was properly marked.
Schumacher, who turned 45 earlier this month, won a record 91 grand prix victories.
He left the sport last year after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006. (Reuters-GMM)
Subbed by AJN.