Schumacher leaves French hospital, out of coma

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 16, 2014 at 9:12 am •  Published: June 16, 2014

BERLIN (AP) — Nearly six months after sustaining serious head injuries in a skiing accident, seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher left a French hospital on Monday and was transferred to neighboring Switzerland to continue his recovery.

Schumacher "is not in a coma anymore," his manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a brief statement announcing that the German driver had left the Grenoble University Hospital, where he had been treated since his accident Dec. 29.

Kehm gave no further details of his condition or medical outlook, saying only that he would "continue his long phase of rehabilitation."

Schumacher left the Grenoble hospital Monday morning, said hospital spokeswoman Brigitte Polikar, who declined to give any details on his condition.

He was transferred to the Lausanne University Hospital, near the Schumacher family's Swiss home. Hospital spokesman Darcy Christen confirmed the 45-year-old German was admitted but stressed that the facility wants "to ensure that he and his family fully enjoy privacy and medical confidentiality."

Schumacher's accident happened on a family vacation as Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps. He hit the right side of his head on a rock, cracking his helmet. Doctors operated to remove blood clots from his brain, but some were left because they were too deeply embedded.

Schumacher's condition stabilized after he was placed in a drug-induced coma. In late January, doctors began the process of withdrawing sedatives to try to wake him up.

Over recent months, little information has been released on Schumacher's condition. Monday's announcement was the first substantial update since Kehm said in early April that Schumacher "shows moments of consciousness and awakening."

The 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," Kehm's latest statement said.

"The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes. ... We are sure it helped him," it added. "For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye," it added.