Poster by T.A.
Michael Schumacher leaves hospital nine months after accident
Former F1 champion to be rehabilitated at home
Skiing fall left him in medically induced coma
Philip Oltermann in Berlin
Tuesday 9 September 2014 14.40 BST
Michael Schumacher has left hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, nine months after suffering a life-threatening injury in a skiing accident.
Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement that the former Formula One world champion would continue his rehabilitation at home but faced “a long and difficult road ahead”.
“Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months,” Kehm said. “We would like to extend our gratitude to the entire team at CHUV Lausanne [university hospital of Lausanne] for their thorough and competent work.”
Schumacher’s move should not be interpreted as a sign of massive changes in his health status, the statement said without providing further details.
On 29 December, the seven-times world champion hit his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in Méribel, France. Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma at a French hospital in Grenoble to help reduce swelling of his brain.
The German, who retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career, was transferred in June to a clinic in Lausanne, from where he made the short 25-mile journey on Tuesday back to his house at Gland on the Swiss shore of Lake Geneva.
Schumacher’s wife Corinna wrote an open letter to his fans in the programme for the German Grand Prix in July, saying that “it is good to know that we have overcome the most difficult period together. Now we are at the beginning of a phase that will most likely take a long time”.
Schumacher’s management have worked hard to shield the former racing driver from the media during his rehabilitation process. In her statement, Kehm said: “We ask the privacy of Michael’s family continue to be respected, and that speculation about his state of health is avoided.”
Shortly after his arrival in Grenoble, a journalist dressed as a priest had reportedly tried to gain access to Schumacher’s hospital room.
After his transfer to Lausanne, a doctor’s report on Schumacher’s state of health was offered for sale to German media. An executive at Swiss helicopter air rescue company Rega was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the theft and was later found hanged in his cell in Zurich.
Tuesday’s statement also dismissed Swiss media speculation that Schumacher’s wife had their expansive property in Gland adapted for his care.