Michael Schumacher's Coma: Two Months on, Questions Persist

If this was a bissextile year, tomorrow would be the 29th of February, precisely two months after Michael Schumacher's serious skiing accident.
Two months of Schumi no longer driving, riding or skiing but simply resting completely motionless on a hospital bed from the fifth floor of the University Hospital Center in Grenoble, France.

Recent reports mention that the tumult of reporters and fans camping outside the hospital can no longer be heard, as Schumacher's family has pleaded with them to respect their privacy.

According to a photo that recently appeared in the New York Times, only a banner being kept erect by two poles has remained in front of the Grenoble University Hospital – a lone testament of the love and prayers that Schumi's fans are still exhibiting with every single day passing.

Those two months can mean a lot of things, but they certainly leave more questions than answers in the minds of pretty much everyone, whether they have been informed of the current status of his coma or not.

The latest official report about Schumi's current state came from his manager, Sabine Kehm, who insisted that doctors were still in the process of easing him out of the induced coma after an earlier report from German magazine Focus said that the waking up attempts had been abandoned due to complications.

“This phase can take a long time which, much to our regret, can lead to many misinterpretations.” said Ms. Kehm.

Last week, Felipe Massa gave some false hopes to everyone by saying that during his last visit to Schumacher's bedside he saw him make small responses to stimuli with his mouth.

So, having undergone two crucial surgeries in order to relieve pressure on his brain by removing hematomas – a swelling of clotted blood – and two months of medically-induced comatose, Michael Schumacher's state is still vegetative and future predictions are far from being good.

Meanwhile, French investigators closed their legal inquiry into the skiing accident last week, ruling out any criminal wrongdoing and determining that no one else was to blame for his misfortune.

Unfortunately, the situation is pretty grim for the Formula 1 septuple champion and there are no visible signs of any significant improvement in the long run, be it that he manages to be woken up from the coma or not.

A number of world-class neurosurgeons unrelated with Schumacher's case are making pretty grim suppositions based on their own experience with similar cases.

According to some of them, most patients who have sustained major head injuries and have been put in artificially-induced comas have shown less and less signs of brain activity improvements as time went by, and with two whole months already on the clock, Schumi's prognosis doesn't look very good.

Nevertheless, other experts are quite a bit more optimistic. “About 90 percent of the recovery is made within nine to 12 months, so this is still early days,” said Dr. Anthony Strong, an emeritus chair in neurosurgery at King's College London, quoted by Eurosport.

On the other hand, pretty much all of the world's leading neurosurgeons agree on the fact that the longer Schumacher stays in the coma, the harder it will be for him to fully recover all his body functions.

Naturally, all of these are just suppositions, and we are just running around the barrel shooting questions and creating answers out of thin air, as the truth about Schumi's condition will only come via Sabine Kehm's rare reports and/or press releases.

We, the media and the fans all over the world should probably just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best, but time is certainly not on his side anymore, unlike when he used to put seconds and minutes between him and the rest of the grid in his best Formula 1 years.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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