Michael Schumacher is able to respond to the sound of his wife Corinna”s voice, according to new reports.
Following Monday’s news that the Formula 1 ace has finally left Grenoble hospital following his life-threatening skiing accident in December, German newspaper Bild reports that Michael is breathing unassisted for periods of time, and is reacting to voices around him – particularly his wife”s.
“The voice of Corinna has a much stronger effect on him than the voices of other people,” the paper wrote.
It also reports that Michael, 45, has lost 44 lbs in weight while being treated for the severe brain injuries he suffered while skiing in the French Alps, although physiotherapists have been giving him regular exercise treatment to keep his muscles working.
Very little in known about Michael’s exact condition.
In a statement, his manager Sabine Kehm confirmed that he had been removed from the artificially induced coma in which he has spent the last five months, and said he would now “continue his long phase of rehabilitation”.
Some medical experts have said it was a good sign that Michael was capable of making the journey to the new hospital, saying it implies at least a minimal state of consciousness.
Brain specialist Dr Martin Grond told Der Spiegel magazine that it would be irresponsible to attempt a prognosis, saying that too little information about Michael”s condition had been released to make an accurate prediction.
“There is not a word mentioned about brain function,” he told the magazine, adding that Michael could be in any condition from a “waking coma” to “on his way to recovery”.
Michael is continuing his rehabilitation at the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) in western Switzerland. The hospital is just 20 miles from the Schumacher family home, on the shore of Lake Geneva.
On Monday morning, hospital spokesman Darcy Christen confirmed that Michael had arrived, saying: “The family are in a separate part of the hospital where their privacy can be best protected and where Michael Schumacher can obtain the highest level of care.”