Michael Schumacher retired in 2012 as a seven-time F1 world champion and is widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest drivers of all time. However, the following year, the German racer suffered traumatic brain injuries while on a skiing trip with his family.
Schumacher – who was wearing a helmet – fell and hit his head on a rock in the French Alps.
The 51-year-old has not been seen in public since the accident and updates on his health have been scarce.
Michael Schumacher recovery timeline
December 29, 2013: Schumacher is airlifted to Hospital of Moutiers following the accident and later transported to Grenoble University Hospital Centre, where doctors said he was “suffering a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival, which required an immediate neurosurgical operation”.
December 30, 2013: Schumacher is said to be in “critical condition” as surgeons operate to stop brain haemorrhaging and treat intracranial pressures.
The former F1 star is placed in a medically induced coma.
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January 1, 2014: Schumacher’s condition is said to have improved slightly after the second operation but doctors added he was “not out of danger”.
January 7, 2014: Schumacher’s wife, Corinna, speaks publically for the first time since her husband’s accident.
In a statement, she asked media at the Grenoble hospital to leave to “ease the burden on the doctors and the hospital so that they can do their work in peace”.
She added: “Please also leave our family alone.”
January 31, 2014: Doctors begin to gradually wake Schumacher up from the medically induced coma.
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February 2014: Grenoble University Hospital confirm that Schumacher is still alive following reports the former F1 driver had died.
Schumacher’s agent, Sabine Kehm, says he is still in the wake-up phase from an induced coma.
Former Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa also visits Schumacher in hospital and provides a brief update.
“He is sleeping, he looks normal and he showed a few responses with his mouth,” said Massa.
“I was very happy to be able to spend some time with him. I really hope that he will again be able to enjoy life.”
London neurosurgeon Colin Shieff says it is unlikely Schumacher will make a full recovery.
“The fact that he hasn’t woken up implies that the injury has been extremely severe and that a full recovery is improbable,” said Shieff.
March 2014: Kehm says there are “small and encouraging signs” the German’s condition is improving.
Schumacher is moved to the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, close to his family home in Geneva.
June 2014: Schumacher is no longer in a medically induced coma.
July 2014: Corinna says her husband has begun to recognise her voice.
September 2014: Schumacher’s recovery continues at his private home in Geneva, Switzerland.
A statement read: “Michael’s rehabilitation will take place at his home.
“Considering the severe head injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months. There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead.”
2015: FIA president Jean Todt says the former Ferrari driver is “still fighting”.
2016: Kehm says Schumacher’s family are struggling to come to terms with the accident but hope he will “one day be back with us”.
2017: Schumacher’s lawyer was forced to tell a court the F1 legend “cannot walk” after an article by German magazine Bunte claimed he was walking. Bunte magazine had to pay €50,000 in damages.
2018: Corinna issues a brief update.
“It is good to receive so many kind wishes and other well-intentioned words – which is a great support for our family,” she says.
“We all know Michael is a fighter and will not give up.”
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2019: Jean Todt, Schumacher’s former Ferrari boss, says the star is “making good progress”.
“I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true,” said Todt. “I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland.”
Schumacher reportedly goes to the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris to undergo pioneering stem cell treatment.
The hospital neither confirms nor denies this, however, an unnamed nurse tells French outlet Le Parisien that Schumacher is conscious after a stem-cell procedure.
2020: Nicola Acciari, a leading neurosurgeon, says “we must imagine a person very different from the one we remember on the track, with a very altered and deteriorated organic, muscular and skeletal structure”.
“All as a result of the brain trauma he suffered,” she added.
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