Doctors treating seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher will begin lowering his sedation level in order to start the ‘waking-up’ process, his agent Sabine Kehm, said on Thursday.
“Michael’s sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking-up process, which may take a long time” Kehm stated.
Schumacher suffered a severe head injury while skiing in the French Alps on December 29. According to investigators he was not skiing excessively fast prior to the accident, but he has been in a medically induced coma ever since.
The former Ferrari driver struck a rock while skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel. Immediately after the accident Schumacher was transferred to Grenoble where he underwent brain surgery. Last week he remained in a critical but stable condition, according to his spokesperson.
Doctors have already carried out two separate operations to remove blood clots from around Schumacher’s brain. He has been kept in an artificial coma to reduce swelling caused by the surgeries.
Although the doctors treating Schumacher have said they are not in a position to give out a prognosis for his condition, it is considered medically possible for a person to spend several weeks or even months in an induced coma and still make a full recovery.
On January 2, the German driver’s family members publicly thanked his followers for all the messages of support. One day later, fans and supporters held a vigil to mark Schumacher’s birthday.
The racing world has also offered several messages of support for Schumacher and his family. On January 28, during the first day of pre-season tests in Jerez, world champion Sebastian Vettel said he is “praying for a miracle”.
“He’s still in a coma and we don’t know in what shape he will be in when he wakes up. I’m still as shocked as everybody else. I pray and hope the miracle will happen, he will come back and be the person he was before” Schumacher’s compatriot was quoted as saying.
The Mercedes team car, driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, also carried a message of encouragement, writing “KeepFightingMichael”.
Schumacher, considered by many to be the most successful F1 driver of all times, made 72 out of his total 91 wins with Ferrari.