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Michael Schumacher: Wife Corinna spends birthday by his side

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Corinna Schumacher turned 45 Sunday and spent her birthday by husband Michael Schumacher's side as he remains unconscious in his hospital room in Grenoble, France, according to the London Mirror. She bravely refuses to give up hope for Michael's recovery even as some experts express doubts.

Sunday was his 64th day in the medically-induced coma since the Dec. 29 ski accident in the Alps which placed his life in peril. Also present Sunday in the champion's hospital room were brother Ralf, father Rolf and children Gina Maria, 17, and Mick, 14. Ralf was also a successful Formula One race driver.

Corinna continues speaking to her comatose husband in the hopes he will recognize her voice and emerge from his deep sleep. Doctors have reported the drugs which placed him in his coma should have drained from his body by now.

This week is considered a critical time in his recovery as doctors at University Hospital are looking for signs of responses from the seven-time Formula One World Champion driver such as blinking.

Millions of fans around the world have been following Schumacher's progress with concern. The Bahrain Race Track officials asked for and received permission from the driver's family to name a corner in honor of him.

Publicist Sabine Kehm, 45, said she was sure the 91-race winner will appreciate the honor when he emerges from his coma.

This whole ordeal for the Schumacher family was initiated Dec. 29 when Michael's skis struck a snow-covered rock near the Meribel, France resort in the Alps. He was knocked airborne 34 feet before his helmeted head struck a larger rock. The impact split his helmet.

Reigning German world champion Sebastian Vettel said he hopes his boyhood idol recovers. Vettel also said he had come to know Schumacher on a personal level during Michael's comeback with Mercedes in recent years.

Schumacher's seven Formula One world championships place him number one alltime. Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio is second with five championships won during the 1950s. Vettel and French driver Alain Prost are tied at four apiece.

The extent of Schumacher's domination of the sport is shown by the fact that while he won 91 races, Prost is second with 51 victories. Formula One has announced Schumacher is statistically the greatest driver ever.

Schumacher won his first two world championships with Benetton and Benetton-Renault before he made history by reeling off five consecutive world championships at the helm of Ferrari's Prancing Horses.

Corinna's willingness to allow Michael to continue his dangerous F-1 career without trying to discourage him has often been cited as one of the keys to their lengthy, successful marriage. His only injury on the racetrack was a fractured leg at the British Grand Prix while driving for Ferrari.

When Michael too over as Ferrari's No. 1 driver the team was down. But Schumacher's input as well as his unparalleled quickness catapulted the red Ferraris to the top of the competitive Formula One world against such powerhouses as Williams, McLaren and all other challengers.

Schumacher mastered all the famous racetracks of the world from the Nurburgring to Monte Carlo to Indianapolis to Sao Paulo.

Felipe Massa, his teammate at Ferrari for many years and a close friend, visited Michael in the hospital recently and reported the champion responded to him by moving his mouth on several occasions.

Corinna and millions of fans around the world continue to hope for his recovery as the champion continues to fight for his life.

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