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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs