‘I think he’s in a vegetative state – awake but not responding’: Renowned brain surgeon says Michael Schumacher is unlikely to make a full recovery from horror 2013 skiing accident, after ex-Ferrari chief said he was ‘still fighting’
- Michael Schumacher’s exact condition has been well guarded since 2013
- Legendary Formula One star suffered major head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps
- Respected neurosurgeon Erich Riederer has offered his opinion on 51-year-old’s status
- He said: ‘Is there any chance of seeing him like before? I really don’t think so’
Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is likely to be in a vegetative state and there is little chance of him ever making a full recovery, according to renowned neurosurgeon Erich Riederer.
The German suffered devastating brain injuries in a skiing accident back in 2013 while on holiday in the French Alps and his condition has been closely guarded by his family.
Last week ex-Ferrari boss Jean Todt said Schumacher, 51, was still battling to get better.
This has raised the hopes of his millions of fans but Riederer, who is not personally connected with Schumacher and was giving an opinion as an outsider, has offered a more bleak opinion of the prognosis.
Michael Schumacher suffered devastating brain injuries in a skiing accident in 2013
Schumacher, pictured with his wife Corinna, is likely to be in a ‘vegetative state’, says Erich Riederer
Speaking on a documentary on French television station TMC, he said: ‘I think he’s in a vegetative state, which means he’s awake but not responding.
‘He is breathing, his heart is beating, he can probably sit up and take baby steps with help, but no more.
‘I think that’s the maximum for him. Is there any chance of seeing him like he was before his accident? I really don’t think so.’
It is not known whether Riderer has visited Schumacher himself or what information he is basing his opinion on.
Riderer’s interview came days after Todt revealed he had recently visited the seven-time world champion at his home.
Schumacher is surrounded by family and medical carers but the prognosis is grim. His supporters are desperate for some positive news
He said: ‘I saw Michael last week. He is fighting.
‘My God, we know he had a terrible and unfortunate skiing accident which has caused him a lot of problems.
‘But he has an amazing wife next to him, he has his kids, his nurses, and we can only wish him the best and to wish the family the best, too.
‘All I can do is to be close to them until I am able to do something, and then I will do it.’
Schumacher was in a coma for six months after the head injury suffered whilst skiing off-piste in the popular resort of Meribel in the Alps.
After 254 days he returned home, where he has largely remained ever since.
It was revealed earlier this year that he is to have stem cell surgery from a renowned doctor in a bid to revive his nervous system. At this time, it is not known whether the surgery took place or if Schumacher has benefited from it.
Former Ferrari CEO Jean Todt (right) recently visited Schumacher and gave an update on him
The seven-time Formula One champion was in a coma for six months after the accident
During his career, the German was known for his ferocious competitive nature on the track but another F1 boss Ross Brawn says his persona away from racing was the polar opposite.
Brawn said: ‘So many times I introduced him to people who, before they met him, thought he was a despicable, horrible character and you introduce them, and once they got to know him they completely changed.
‘I had that happen so many times because there was Michael the racing driver out on the track and there was Michael the human being away from the track.
‘I don’t know of anyone who worked with Michael who had a bad word to say about him. Lots of people who raced against him had a different opinion but nobody I know who ever worked with Michael ever had a bad opinion about him because of his integrity, his commitment, his human side.’