Michael Schumacher’s helmet 'split in two' in skiing accident that left him in a coma

'He could die. He could have serious lasting effects such as paralysis or loss of understanding or he could recover completely,' Professor Denis Safran said ahead of today’s critical update

French doctors performed a successful operation to reduce bruising in the brain of Michael Schumacher late on Monday night, improving the condition of the former Formula One champion but leaving his hopes of recovery “fragile”, it was announced on Tuesday.

The update came as it emerged that a reporter dressed as a priest had tried to get into the racing driver’s hospital room.

Doctors at the Grenoble University Hospital said that a “brief improvement” in the German driver’s condition had given them a “window of medical opportunity” to carry out a two-hour operation to remove a “haematoma” or serious bruise from within Mr Schumacher’s brain.

“A scan this morning shows that this operation was performed with success and that his condition is now under better control,” said Dr Jean-Francois Payen, the anaesthetist in charge of the hospital intensive care unit.

Schumacher's Condition "Extremely Serious" After Skiing Accident

Both he and the consultant neuro-surgeon Emmanuel Gay told a press conference that it was too early to predict whether Mr Schumacher, 44, would recover from his serious skiing accident on Sunday. They said that there were other areas of bruising within the  ex-driving champion’s brain. They were smaller than the haematoma removed on Monday night but more inaccessible.

Earlier it emerged that Mr Schumacher’s helmet had split into two parts in the accident on Sunday.

Medical experts said that the next 48 hours would decide whether the retired German racing driver would survive or recover partially or completely. Professor Denis Safran of the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris said that it was notoriously difficult to predict the consequences of the kind of injuries, including internal brain lesions, suffered by Mr Schumacher. 

 

“He could die. He could have serious lasting effects such as paralysis or loss of understanding or he could recover completely,” the professor said.

Not long after the press conference Grenoble, it emerged that a news reporter dressed up as a priest to attempt to gain access to Michael Schumacher’s hospital room where he is currently battling for his life after a skiing accident, the Formula One champion’s manager Sabine Kehm revealed.

It seems that one reporter had made the startling decision to ignore the wishes of both Ms Kehm and the doctors to respect the Schumacher family’s privacy in what is a desperate time.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, Ms Kehm said: “Apparently, a journalist disguised as a priest has tried to get access to Michael’s room.

“This is something I would not have thought possible. As soon as his disguise was recognised, he was expelled from the hospital.”

Sebastian Vettel Leads F1 Drivers Support To 'Daredevil' Colleague

The number of media personnel outside the hospital has risen to over 100 since Mr Schumacher’s arrival at the hospital on Sunday.

The widespread coverage is a clear indicator of the shock that Schumacher’s condition has had on the world, with the 44-year-old being constantly monitored by medical staff while his chances of survival are being rated on an hour-by-hour basis.

Those with cameras outside the hospital have agreed not to direct them at the emergency room or the window of the room which they believe Schumacher to be kept in. 

Schumacher & Me: Kevin Garside Recalls Skiing Trip with "Shy" F1 Star   

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible