BERLIN (dpa) – Just as in previous years, he wanted to spend a few days skiing to celebrate the new year and his birthday with friends. But a fall at the Meribel ski resort changed the life of Michael Schumacher and his loved ones in the most dramatic fashion.
Even a year after the tragic accident on December 29, 2013, it remains unclear whether Schumacher will ever recover enough to lead any semblance of a normal life.
“It is not possible to give any kind of reliable prognosis,” Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said recently. “It simply isn’t possible in this situation.”
Schumacher hit his head on a rock while skiing and spent the next days in a critical condition in a Grenoble hospital, followed by months in an induced coma.
The father of two’s helmet was destroyed as a result of the crash and the seriousness of Schumacher’s condition only became apparent the following day when he was brought to the University Clinic Hospital in Grenoble.
The expressions on the faces of the doctors treating Schumacher spoke volumes. His condition was described as “extremely critical” as the world learned that the seven-time world champion had sustained multiple brain injuries.
Schumacher’s fight for life unleashed deep emotions worldwide with regular television programming regularly interrupted to give updates on his condition.
The media circus that developed around Schumacher’s fight for life led wife Corinna to issue a written statement a week later, calling for the driver’s medical team and family to be left in peace so they could deal with the situation.
Schumacher was still fighting for his life on January 3, 2014, when he celebrated his 45th birthday, with the tragedy casting a shadow over the start of tests for the new F1 season.