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Michael Schumacher: Defeats pneumonia as he fights for life with wife beside him

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The winningest Formula One driver in history Michael Schumacher may have won his most important victory when he overcame pneumonia while fighting to emerge from a coma, according to Bild, a German daily tabloid. With his loyal wife Corrina, 44, speaking to him daily from his bedside, the seven-time world champion has refused to succumb to the severe head injuries he suffered Dec. 29 when he fell and struck a rock while skiing in the Alps near Meribel, according to the London Mail Online.

The 91-race winner had overcome the deadly threat of pneumonia before that condition was reported internationally, according to Bild. The German paper was the first to report of a lung infection which led to the pneumonia.

A statement released by Schumacher's family today said the most significant factor of his recovery was not speed, but "rather that it progresses in a 'continuous and controlled way."'

The statement also said,"The family continues to strongly believe in Michael's recovery and place all their trust in the doctors, nurses and nursing auxiliaries team."

Recovery could take weeks, months or even years, according to which expert one consults. Surgeons performed two operations to relieve pressure on his brain and remove blood clots in the days following his accident. He was airlifted from the scene of the accident to the University Hospital of Grenoble, France where he was placed in a medically-induced coma to give his brain time to heal.

Wife Corinna has two children with the champion. They are Gina Marie, 16, and Mick, 14. His beautiful wife has remained at his bedside in the Grenoble hospital since the accident, hoping to aid in his recovery.

"About 30 to 50 per cent of all patients who lie in a coma as long as Michael Schumacher has, get pneumonia," according to Andreas Pingel, medical director at a Frankfurt, Germany hospital.

Since he still is not able to breathe independently, he receives food through a tube to his stomach and oxygen via a hose from a machine next to his bed. His joints and muscles are massaged to prevent atrophy and bed sores three times a day.

Corinna recently wrote to a fan in Donegal, Ireland, thanking her for her support. According to the Donegal Democrat, Louise Dillon sent a letter to the legendary driver expressing her support. She has been a huge fan of Michael's many years and traveled around the globe to watch many of his races.

Corinna wrote in her letter to Ms. Dillon, "I would sincerely like to thank you for your message and for your lovely present which helps us to move forward in these difficult moments."

Corinna further wrote, "We know Michael is a fighter and he's not giving up."

Nor are his millions of fans from the United States to Germany giving up on the greatest Formula One champion ever.

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