Inside the battle to save Michael Schumacher’s life moments after a horror skiing accident left him with catastrophic brain damage

MICHAEL Schumacher’s life hung by a thread as doctors battled to save him after the skiing accident left him with horrific brain damage.

The Formula 1 legend was airlifted from the ski slope above Meribel in the French Alps after his head hit a rock while skiing with his son Mick.

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Doctors fought to save Schumacher’s life when he was airlifted to hospitalCredit: PA: Press Association
His wife Corinna broke down in tears as she accepted an award honoring Michael

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His wife Corinna broke down in tears as she accepted an award honoring MichaelCredit: Splash

Schumacher fell and hit his head while traversing an off-piste area – suffering a serious head injury despite wearing a ski helmet in the 2013 crash, just a year after retiring .

When the seven-time Formula 1 world champion arrived at the intensive care unit at Grenoble University Hospital, a team of doctors was waiting to intervene to save his life.

Professor Jean-Francois Payen said it was a matter of working “hour by hour” as the team took three key steps to save the 44-year-old’s life.

First, he was placed in an artificial coma to relieve the pressure on his brain.

Inside Schumacher's 'secret treatment' as he has '£115,000-a-week' care
How Schumacher

Doctors lowered his body temperature to 34-35C as part of the coma, slowing his metabolism to help reduce inflammation.

A surgical team then operated urgently to release some pressure in his head.

At one point, his family was told to prepare for the worst and the situation was grimmer than the doctors had imagined.

“The family has been informed that only a miracle can bring him back now,” said a senior German journalist.

At the time, doctors said Schumacher was likely to remain in an induced coma for at least 48 hours, possibly weeks.

Eventually, he was placed in an artificial coma for almost six months after the accident.

In June 2014, he was discharged from hospital so he could receive treatment at his family home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Only small trickles of information have since come out, with reports that Schumacher remains in a wheelchair and can react to things around him.

Schumacher is now 53 and his health remains a mystery and his wife Corinna has kept a grip on the details of his condition.

She recently broke down in tears at an emotional ceremony as the F1 legend received an award.

Speaking in a Netflix documentary, Corinna revealed ‘I miss Michael every day’.

Although she admitted he was “different”, she insisted that “he is there and it gives us strength”.

Corinna also offered a brief glimpse into their home life, saying, “We’re together. We’re living together at home. We’re doing therapy.”

In 2019, it was reported that Schumacher was set to undergo breakthrough stem cell therapy in a bid to regenerate and rebuild his nervous system.

He suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a skiing accident in 2013

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He suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a skiing accident in 2013Credit: AFP

Renowned French cardiologist Dr Philippe Menasche, who had previously operated on him, was due to perform the treatment to transfer cells from Schumacher’s heart to his brain in 2019.

But he warned fans he ‘doesn’t work miracles’ after the widely reported first stem cell therapy on the sports star the year before.

He also slammed claims he was conducting ‘experiments’ on the legendary racing driver.

After treatment at Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, France, he was reportedly “conscious”, although few other details were given of his condition.

But he said details of Schumacher’s treatment would remain “secret” for reasons of medical confidentiality.

Schumacher reportedly underwent pioneering stem cell therapy in Paris

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Schumacher reportedly underwent pioneering stem cell therapy in ParisCredit: AFP
His condition is still unknown, nearly nine years after his tragic accident

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His condition is still unknown, nearly nine years after his tragic accidentCredit: EPA

Schumacher is reported to have received medical treatment costing up to £115,000 a week as his family, friends and friends all hope he can recover from his horrific skiing accident.

His family were reportedly forced to sell Schumacher’s beloved private jet and holiday home in Norway – worth an estimated £25million – in a bid to cover his medical costs.

In 2020, his former boss and close friend Jean Todt revealed that Schumacher was receiving suitable treatment to help him “get back to a more normal life”.

Todt, who has overseen five of his seven titles as Ferrari team boss, is one of the few visitors allowed to see him at home.

He told Radio Monte-Carlo that he had watched F1 races with the legendary driver on TV.

“I’m always cautious with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland.”

Recent reports suggest the Schumacher family are looking to spend the winter months at a new property in Mallorca.

Schumacher is one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, dominating the sport in the early 2000s after rising to power in the 90s.

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He raced from 1991 to 2006 and then from 2010 to 2012 – a second act in his career which saw him instrumental in creating Lewis Hamilton’s dominant Mercedes team.

The German has won five world championships with Ferrari and two for Benetton.

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