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Schumacher in stable yet critical condition

AFP

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher’s was in stable yet critical condition on Wednesday, three days after suffering brain injuries in a skiing accident, his manager Sabine Kehm said.

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Schumacher, who turns 45 on Friday, is now fighting for his life after falling and striking his head on a rock while skiing off-piste at Meribel in the French Alps. His 14-year-old son, Mick, was with him and a group of friends when the accident happened.

Schumacher has since undergone two brain operations and remains in a medically induced coma. Kehm said that his condition has not changed since doctors said he showed small signs of improvement on Tuesday, following his second operation.

“The good news for today is ... there’s no significant changes,” Kehm told reporters gathered outside the Grenoble hospital where he is being treated. “However, it is still very early, and the situation overall is critical. Everything can change immediately.”

Doctors have refused to give a prognosis for Schumacher, saying they are focused on his immediate care. They are trying to reduce swelling in his brain by keeping him in a coma and lowering his body temperature to between 34 and 35 degrees Celsius (93.2 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Kehm said Schumacher was surrounded by his family – including his wife, daughter and son – and that there is always somebody with him.

“They are trying to support him by being by his side,” Kehm said.

An unparalleled driver

Schumacher is the most successful Formula One driver in history, racking up a record 91 race wins. He retired in 2012 after garnering an unmatched seven world titles.

His accident has drawn immense media attention, and Kehm confirmed Wednesday that earlier in the week security at the hospital stopped a journalist who was posing as a priest from approaching Schumacher.

“Security got him before he got close,” she said.

Schumi, as his fans affectionately call him, was famously aggressive on the track and no less intense off-hours. In retirement, he remained an avid skier, skydiver and horseback rider.

Kehm said the Schumacher family traditionally spends Christmas and New Year holidays at Meribel, where they own a chalet, and to celebrate the German racer’s birthday.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

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