OUT OF COMA: Schumacher leaves intensive care

FORMULA One legend Michael Schumacher has come out of his coma after nearly six months following a skiing accident in December.

The seven-time F1 champion has also left the Grenoble hospital where he was a patient, his management said, and will now focus on his rehabilitation.

“Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore,” Schumacher’s management said in a statement.

“His family would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months.

“The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes to Michael. We are sure it helped him.

“For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye.”

Schumacher has been transferred to a Lausanne hospital.

“Mr. Schumacher was admitted by CHUV (the University Hospital of Lausanne) this morning,” hospital spokesman Darcy Christen said Monday.

The 45-year-old German driver was hospitalized with severe head injuries after his December 29 ski accident, which split his helmet as he crashed into rocks on the slope at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps.

Doctors in Grenoble put him into a coma to rest his brain and decrease swelling, and they operated to remove blood clots, but some were too deeply embedded.

Little information has been released on Schumacher’s condition over recent months. Monday’s statement was the first substantial update since Kehm said in early April that Schumacher “shows moments of consciousness and awakening.”

With seven drivers’ titles, 91 Grand Prix victories and 68 pole positions, Schumacher remains the most successful driver in Formula One history. He retired at the end of the 2012 season.

-news.com.au