Lewis Hamilton excited by news that Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma
Seven-times World Champion transferred to hospital in Switzerland near to family home; 'Long phase of rehabilitation' now underway
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 17/06/14 3:23pm
Lewis Hamilton says he is ‘excited’ and encouraged by the news that Michael Schumacher has woken from his coma over five months after suffering life-threatening head injuries in a skiing accident.
Hamilton replaced Schumacher in 2012 at Mercedes when the seven-times World Champion retired from the sport after three seasons with the Silver Arrows. Both Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg’s have carried a message of #KeepFightingMichael on their cars this year, and the team tweeted on Monday: “Encouraging news on Michael’s condition this morning. We couldn’t ask for a better start to the week.”
Confirmation that Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has left Grenoble Hospital in southern France was the first official update on the German’s condition since early April.
“It’s amazing news,” said Hamilton. “Everywhere I go people ask about him, whether it’s the States or Canada. I could be in the petrol station and people ask about him. I always keep him in my thoughts and prayers. It’s a real positive to hear that there’s some progress. I’ve been trying to keep an ear out for what’s going on but not really hearing much improvements.
“To hear that he is really in that wake-up phase is just really encouraging and it is exciting, and the next step, and hopefully this is the first step on the ladder.”
Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were also among those to welcome the news on twitter on Monday.
The 102-word update released on behalf of Schumacher’s family by his long-time manager Sabine Kehm thanked both medical staff and well-wishers for their assistance and support during the 170 days the 45-year-old spent at Grenoble Hospital but contained no further details on his condition other than confirmation he was out of his coma.
Schumacher has been transferred to University Hospital of Lausanne, approximately twenty miles from the family home on the shore of Lake Geneva. “He is here, he arrived this morning," a spokesman acknowledged. “The family are in a separate part of the hospital where their privacy can be best protected and where Michael Schumacher can obtain the highest level of care.”
With Schumacher’s family reporting in their statement that Michael is now ‘in long phase of rehabilitation’ and requesting ‘understanding that his future rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye’, it is likely to be weeks, if not months, before a further update on his recovery is released.
The official updates on Michael Schumacher's condition
'Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore. 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.'
'Michael is making progress on his way. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening. We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident.
'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. This is necessary to protect the privacy of Michael and his family, and to enable the medical team to work in full calmness.'
'We are, and remain confident, Michael will pull through and will wake up. There sometimes are small, encouraging signs, but we also know this is the time to be very patient. Michael has suffered severe injuries. It is very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who had overcome a lot of precarious situations in the past, has been hurt so terribly in such a banal situation.
'It was clear from the start this will be a long and hard fight for Michael, and we are taking this fight on together with the team of doctors, whom we fully trust. The length of the process is not the important part for us. It is heart-warming to see how much sympathy his family is shown and I can say the family is extremely grateful for it. However, it should not be forgotten Michael's family is dealing with an extremely intimate and fragile situation.
'And I would like to remind all of us Michael has always actively kept his family out of the public eye and consequently protected their private lives. We try to channel all the energies we have toward Michael and we firmly believe this will help him, and we believe he will also win this fight.'
'Michael is still in the wake up phase. The situation has not changed. Any medical information published which is not confirmed by the team of doctors treating Michael or his management has to be considered as not valid.'
'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 healing process progresses in a continuous and controlled way.'
'The family of Michael Schumacher is again requesting to respect its privacy and the medical secret, and to not disturb the doctors treating Michael in their work. At the same time, the family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the world wide sympathy.
'Michael's sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process which may take a long time. For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated.'
'Unfortunately I have to repeat that any information regarding Michael's health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as pure speculation. I also repeat that Michael's family is very happy and confident with the work of the team of doctors treating Michael, and they trust them completely. Michael's condition is still considered as stable.'
'The clinical condition of Michael Schumacher is considered as stable and is constantly monitored by medical treatments that are administered to him. However, the medical team in charge emphasises it continues to consider Michael's condition as critical.
'The privacy of the statement demands that we are not going into details of his treatment, and this is why we do not plan any press conferences, nor give out written press releases, anymore for the time being. We insist again that you respect medical confidentiality and you adhere to the information provided by the medical team in charge, or his management, as this is the only valid information.'
'Michael's condition remains critical but stable. We would like to clearly stress that any information regarding Michael's health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as invalid and pure speculation. The family cares only for Michael's health.
'Michael's helmet camera was voluntarily given to the investigating authorities by the family.That this should have been done against the wishes of the family is untrue. We ask you to respect the continued privacy of the family.'
'Mr Schumacher was admitted to the University Hospital of Grenoble at 12:40pm, following a skiing accident which occurred in Meribel in the late morning. He suffered a severe head injury with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical intervention. He remains in a critical situation.'