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After a freak skiing accident which left him in a critical condition, Michael Schumacher is finally returning home after a nine-month stint in hospital.
The seven-time Formula One World Champion suffered severe injuries when he fell and hit his head on a rock whilst skiing off-piste in Meribel, France last December. Schumacher was with his son Mick, 14, when the accident happened.
The impact of the rock was so strong that it cracked Schumacher’s helmet, but eyewitnesses reported at the time that they saw blood oozing from his helmet within the eight minutes between his fall and when the medics came to pick him up in a helicopter. After receiving medical attention and losing consciousness on the slope, Schumacher was put into a medically-induced coma where surgeons were said to be monitoring his condition on a strictly ‘hour-by-hour basis’.
Brain surgeons had to work throughout the night in order to save the world-famous racing driver’s life, and doctors revealed that Schumacher may not have even survived the high-speed fall – experts estimate Schumacher was travelling at around 62mph – if he had not been wearing a helmet.
At the time, the driver’s anaesthetist Jean-Francois Payen said, “It’s too early to say what is going to happen and to have a prognosis. Taking into consideration the very violent shock, his helmet did protect him to a certain extent, of course. Somebody who would have this kind of accident without a helmet, certainly, he would not have got to here.”
After his transfer from the Grenoble hospital where he was taken after the accident, to Lausanne, closer to his family home in June, Schumacher was awoken from his coma and underwent almost three months of treatment in the ‘Jardin des Sens’ (Garden of the Senses), which specialises in the recovery of severely traumatised neurological patients by exposing them to water, smells and other elements.
Now, after Schumacher’s highly-reported release from hospital, his manager has released this statement: “Henceforth, Michael’s rehabilitation will take place at his home. Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months. There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead.”
However, an announcement was also made which said, “It should be made clear that it should not be assumed that massive changes in his health status were the reasons for this move.” Other reports have suggested that although his family are ecstatic to have Michael home with the, he still remains mute and unable to move apart from random flutterings of his eyelids.
Schumacher’s accident raised the already well-voiced debate concerning the safety of skilled skiiers and helmet protection. High profile cases like this one, and the death of actress Natasha Richardson in 2009 have bought the debate to the public eye.
As the winter sports season is starting to pick up, Holidaysafe would like to remind their customers to check hired equipment like helmets to ensure it is not damaged and is of a high standard. Whilst only 5% of all ski-related injuries are to do with the head, the emergency medical attention and assistance needed to rescue a patient from the slopes could run medical bills up into thousands of pounds – not something you want to deal with during or after your holiday.
With a winter sports travel insurance policy from Holidaysafe, you receive specialist cover for your hired or personal ski equipment, as well as £10 million worth of emergency medical expenses, as well as cover for cancellation, personal possessions, your pre-paid ski packs, avalanche, lack of snow or inability to use your booked accommodation.Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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