News / Europe

Schumacher 'Slightly Better' after Second Operation

Professor Jean-Francois Payen, left, and Emmanuel Gay, right, answer questions from journalists during a press conference at the Grenoble hospital, Michael Schumacher is being treated after after sustaining a head injury during a ski accident in Meribel, France, Dec. 31, 2013.
Professor Jean-Francois Payen, left, and Emmanuel Gay, right, answer questions from journalists during a press conference at the Grenoble hospital, Michael Schumacher is being treated after after sustaining a head injury during a ski accident in Meribel, France, Dec. 31, 2013.
Reuters
French doctors treating Michael Schumacher for brain injuries sustained in a ski fall said the seven-times Formula One world champion was in slightly better condition on Tuesday after an overnight operation, but that he remained fragile.
 
The 44-year-old German is battling for his life after slamming his head against a rock while skiing off-piste in the French resort of Meribel on Sunday, an accident which triggered an outpouring of concern among fans around the world.
 
Doctors treating him at a hospital in the eastern city of Grenoble said his condition had stabilized enough by late Monday to carry out a new operation to treat the effects of internal bleeding within Schumacher's skull.
 
“The situation is more under control than yesterday but we cannot say he is out of danger,” Jean-Francois Payen, head anaesthetician, told a news conference at the CHU hospital in the eastern French city of Grenoble.
 
“We have won some time but we must continue an hour-by-hour surveillance... It is premature to speculate on his condition,” he said, adding that Schumacher was still in a critical state and suffering from severe lesions and contusions.
 
Emmanuel Gay, head of the hospital's neurosurgery service, said the operation carried out around 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Monday had successfully removed a large hematoma - the medical term for a build-up of blood - from his brain.
 
“It was larger and more accessible [than others]... We judged we could remove it without taking any risks,” Gay said.
 
He said the operation was designed to reduce, within Schumacher's skull, the pressure on the brain.
 
Doctors said the fact that the retired motor racing champion was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident had at least enabled him to make it to the hospital alive.
 
Payen said the medical team in Grenoble had discussed the operation with Schumacher's family. He added that the condition of the motor racing great was still too fragile to consider transferring him to another hospital for the time being.
 
Next days crucial

 
Schumacher is under the care of Professor Gerard Saillant, a brain and spinal injury expert who is also president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Institute.
 
Saillant said it was still impossible to say how Schumacher's condition would progress in coming days.
 
“We are a little less worried than yesterday but I'm sure you understand that the situation could change this evening or tomorrow,” he told the news conference.
 
Schumacher, who lives in Switzerland with his wife and two children, is the most successful Formula One driver of all times with a record 91 race victories in a career spanning more than two decades.
 
Schumacher left the sport last year after a less successful three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006.
 
French authorities have opened an investigation into the accident, which took place as Schumacher was out skiing with his teenage son.
 
Ferrari always used to have an annual January gathering with their drivers in the Dolomites and Schumacher, a fitness fanatic, impressed with his skiing ability.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been deeply shocked to learn of his accident, her spokesman said on Monday as expressions of concern poured in from fans, former team-mates and rivals.
 
Former British Formula One driver David Coulthard said he believed Schumacher had not won the full recognition he merited for taking his sport to new heights.
 
“I only hope Michael Schumacher pulls through so that he can see all the nice things people are saying about him,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs