GRENOBLE, France – Michael Schumacher, the retired seven-time Formula One champion who often braved death on the tracks, remained in a critical condition Monday after an off-piste skiing accident in the French Alps.
The German racing legend, who turns 45 at the end of the week, had been skiing off-piste Sunday with his 14-year-old son in the upmarket Meribel resort when he fell and hit his head on a rock, prompting an urgent evacuation by helicopter.
In an update to reporters on Monday, doctors at the hospital in the southeastern city of Grenoble where he is being treated said it was still too early to make a prognosis on the famous patient.
“He is in critical condition. He is in intensive care, his condition is very serious,” Jean-Francois Payen, head of the intensive care unit, told reporters.
Stephan Chabardes, the professor who operated on Schumacher, said the former racer arrived in hospital on Sunday in an agitated state and was not able to answer questions.
His condition “rapidly deteriorated” and he fell into a coma, he told reporters.
Payen said he was operated on and put into an artificial coma, adding he had been partially protected by his helmet.
“If someone had had this type of accident without a helmet, they would definitely not be here,” he said.