Michael Schumacher, who has been in medically induced coma since suffering extensive brain injuries after a skiing accident on December 29, has lost 25 per cent of his body weight , according to a media report. Schumacher, who was one of the fittest athletes on planet at the height of his glorious racing career, is reportedly down to about 120 pounds (approximately 55 kilos).
According to Mirror.com, Schumacher is suffering from serious muscle loss. "One must assume that his muscles have degraded greatly due to the immobility," Dr Curt Diehm, a German physician, told the website. Schumacher is suffering from a medical condition called "muscle atrophy", where there is partial or complete waste of muscle.
On March 12, Schumacher's agent Sabine Kehm issued the family statement which said that they are confident of his recovery from the life-threatening skiing accident that left him in coma. Doctors put the seven-time world champion in a medically induced coma after the December 29 accident in which he hit his head on a rock while skiing at the French resort of Meribel with his son and a group of friends.
Schumacher remains in hospital in the French Alpine city of Grenoble, and his family said on January 30 that drugs used to keep him in a coma were being reduced with a view to bringing him back to consciousness.
"Michael has suffered severe injuries. It is very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who had overcome a lot of precarious situations in the past, has been hurt so terribly in such a banal situation," the statement said.
Schumacher had already survived a motorbike accident in Spain in 2009, during which he suffered head and neck injuries but was released from hospital after just five hours.
And after years of racing in the risky world of Formula One, he retired but kept pursuing other high-thrill hobbies as the holder of a pilot's license, an accomplished motorbike rider, parachutist, skier and mountain climber.
Little has filtered out about Schumacher's current condition, but last month, his friend and former teammate Felipe Massa was quoted as saying that Schumacher seemed to respond to him during a recent visit. "He is sleeping, he looks normal and he showed a few responses with his mouth," Massa told German tabloid Bild.
(with agency inputs)
Story first published on: Saturday, 22 March 2014 12:05 IST