Charity Welcomes Schumacher News

Headway Warns Former Race Driver Faces Long Road Back


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
Head injury charity Headway has welcomed news that former Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher has left hospital - but warned that he still faces a long journey back to full health.

The German - who was in a coma for weeks after a skiing accident just after Christmas - has now been allowed home, but that is just the latest stage in his recovery.

Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said the news was "very positive", as having a loved one in hospital while they are in the early stages of recovery from a traumatic head injury can pose a severe strain on families.

However, he added: "Michael will likely require intense support having been in a reduced state of consciousness for such a considerable length of time. While this is another positive step forward, it is important to recognise the journey ahead will be long and arduous for Michael and his family."

Noting that every brain injury is "unique", Mr McCabe warned that recovery can take months and sometimes years, with some people eventually enjoying an almost complete restoration of their mental faculties and others struggling to be able to complete even the most basic of tasks. Mr McCabe noted it is very hard to tell how the recovery process will work out in the long run.

The accident suffered by Schumacher has helped to highlight the issues involved in dealing with traumatic brain injuries and may continue to do so as the world's media seeks further news about his long battle to recover full function.

Before suffering his injury, 42-year-old Schumacher had experienced a glittering career that saw him win seven world titles.

He was initially conscious but distressed after his skiing accident, before being taken to hospital and placed in a medically-induced coma to limit the swelling in his brain.

Expert Opinion
The news that Michael Schumacher has now left hospital is positive for him, his family, friends and fans, as extended periods of time with a loved one in hospital can be extremely testing. However it is likely he will require intensive support and rehabilitation due to the length of time he was in a reduced state of consciousness and his recovery from such a traumatic head injury could take a long time. It is vital he receives the best possible care and support throughout the rehabilitation process.

“In our work with people who have suffered serious brain injuries we see first-hand the importance of early rehabilitation, as providing victims with access to these services can make a huge difference to them and their road to recovery.”
Stephen Nye, Partner