Legendary Formula One champion race car driver Michael Schumacher made small responses with his mouth in the presence of friend and fellow driver Felipe Massa, according to an article in the London Daily Mirror today, Friday, Feb. 21. Massa visited his close friend who is still fighting for his life as doctors attempt to bring him out of the medically-induced coma at Grenoble University Hospital following his harrowing head injury which occurred Dec. 29 in the Alps.
Massa and Schumacher were teammates several years for the Ferrari team. Massa emerged from his visit to his comatose friend's hospital room greatly encouraged and believing Michael will survive this ordeal. Wife Corinna has been a daily visitor to her husband's room.
Schumacher was injured when he went airborne after striking a rock while skiing which catapulted him 34 feet in the air before his helmeted head struck another rock. His helmet reportedly split upon impact.
He has undergone two surgeries to remove blood clots and hematomas from his brain after being transported by helicopter from the ski slopes of Meribel, France to the hospital. He was heard to utter a few words immediately following the accident while he was till conscious.
Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm, 45, said he has begun the waking up process. She could not provide a time frame as to when he may regain consciousness.
Massa, who is now piloting cars for the Williams team in Formula One, took time off from testing his new car at the Bahrain race track. The Brazilian driver said he had secretly visited with the 91-race winner as he continues to try to emerge from the coma.
Massa also said it was difficult for him to predict Schumacher's future since he had no medical experience, but that he was very happy to be able to spend considerable time with his former teammate and talk to him for a long time. He said he was trying to give him energy, according to an article in The Independent today.
Massa said of his longtime friend, "He was sleeping, and I was very positive because he was normal. He looks normal, and he also gave some reactions with his mouth and everything. So it's positive to look at him."
Wife Corinna, 44, has been by Schumacher's bedside since the accident. She has been talking to him daily in the hope that the sound of her voice will help him regain consciousness. Doctors intentionally placed him in the coma to give his brain time to heal.
Massa, who raced eight years for Ferrari, said what many others have already said of the seven-time world champion, "He's a very strong man, a very great man...."
Schumacher's millions of fans around the world should be encouraged by Mass's comments. No driver has ever been known to have a stronger will in racing than the German ace. If determination has anything to do with it, the superstar driver will recover.
Schumacher's seven world championships in Formula One place him number one in the pantheon of great race car drivers. Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio is second with five world titles won during the 1950s era of Grand Prix racing.
The great French driver Alain Prost was able to manage four championships.
The most serious injury Schumacher suffered was a fractured leg during his Formula One Career. He became famous when he won two world championships driving for Benetton. He really left his signature on the sport when he won an unprecedented five consecutive titles driving for the "Prancing Horse" of Ferrari. Massa was his teammate there.
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