GRENOBLE, France: Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is to turn 45 on Friday (Saturday in Manila) while lying comatose in a French hospital after suffering critical head injuries in a ski accident.
Doctors and family members were tight-lipped on Thursday (Friday in Manila) about the condition of the German racing great, who has been hospitalized since Sunday, when he slammed his head against a rock while skiing in the French Alps.
There have been conflicting statements about the speed the seven-time world racing champion was going when the tragedy befell him in the Meribel ski resort, where he has a property. The rock impact split the helmet Schumacher was wearing in two, according to a source close to the investigation.
The Ferrari F1 team where Schumacher spent many years announced it would on Friday hold a “silent gathering” in front of the Grenoble hospital for the birthday of the retired sportsman, who is being kept in an induced coma.
Jean Todt, former head of the team, was at Schumacher’s bedside on Thursday along with Schumacher’s wife Corinna.
The hospital and Schumacher’s manager had briefed the press daily since the accident. But they did not do so on Thursday, instead promising to communicate only if there was something new to report.
Schumacher has had two operations to remove bleeding and pressure on his brain.
His media representative, Sabine Kehm, said Wednesday Schumacher was stable though still critical.
The hospital has been faced with intense media pressure from the worldwide interest in its famous patient. A vacant lot nearby has been turned into an impromptu parking lot for numerous television satellite vans.