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'I think he's in a vegetative state': Respected brain surgeon offers grim prognosis of F1 legend Michael Schumacher's condition

'I think he's in a vegetative state': Respected brain surgeon offers grim prognosis of F1 legend Michael Schumacher's condition
Formula 1 icon Michael Schumacher is unlikely to ever fully recover from the injuries he suffered in a skiing accident in the French Alps in 2013, according to respected neurosurgeon Erich Riederer.

The status of Schumacher's health has been a closely guarded secret since the accident, with only the vague updates released by his family and just a week after former Ferrari head Jean Todt told the media that Schumacher was 'fighting' his illness after a recent visit with the German driver, Riederer has offered a more pessimistic perspective.

Also on rt.com 'He is fighting': Ex-Ferrari boss Jean Todt gives Michael Schumacher health update days after visiting F1 great

Riederer, who has not treated Schumacher, told French media that he expects that the seven-time world champion is most likely in a vegetative state.

"I think he's in a vegetative state, which means he's awake but not responding," Riederer concluded.

"He is breathing, his heart is beating, he can probably sit up and take baby steps with help, but no more. I think that's the maximum for him. Is there any chance of seeing him like he was before his accident? I really don't think so."

Schumacher was in a coma for six months following the 2013 accident in which he suffered head injuries after skiing and off-piste route in the French Alps. Reports at the time stated that he lost control and struck his head on a rock. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

It was reported earlier this year that Schumacher was to undergo stem cell treatment in France in a bid to assist his recovery but it is not known if the treatment took place, or if there were any specific benefits from it. 

Todt, meanwhile, was more optimistic after he was granted a rare audience with the German driver and said that Schumacher is receiving all the medical care he requires.

"I saw Michael last week. He is fighting," Todt said.

"My God, we know he had a terrible and unfortunate skiing accident which has caused him a lot of problems.

"But he has an amazing wife next to him, he has his kids, his nurses, and we can only wish him the best and to wish the family the best, too. All I can do is to be close to them until I am able to do something, and then I will do it."

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