Good news?

As my mom always said, “You make your bed, you gotta sleep in it”. So even though I was sure I’d written my last post having anything to do directly with the Michael Schumacher tragedy, I just want to answer the hundreds of questions I’ve already gotten as to the import of todays statement.

1) It is obviously good news that Michael has left the hospital. Because of the length of time since Michael’s injury, and of the specific role of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in supporting and monitoring the function of the body’s major systems, it’s almost certain that Michael has not simply been discharged from the ICU to a rehab, without having “transitioned” by a stay on the regular wards. I have never seen a head injury patient with a 5 month ICU admission be transferred directly to a rehab facility . . . but anything’s possible. 

Remember that there are lots of rehab facilities that can handle ventilated patients, so this transfer also says nothing about whether or not Michael is breathing spontaneously.

2) The moment Sabine announced that Michael had moments of eye opening, we knew he was no longer in a coma. BY DEFINITION. Coma = no consciousness, no eye opening. Open your eyes but unconscious, it’s a vegetative state. Add fluctuating signs of interaction with the environment, it’s a minimally conscious state.

So what does that mean? Sabine is a professional. At the beginning of April, she told us Michael had moments of awakening AND of consciousness. Once again, by saying this, she told us in almost clinically perfect language that Michael was no longer in a coma. She used two terms that only specialists actually distinguish; for laymen being awake and being conscious are the same thing. This language, then, clearly was used based on discussions with Michael’s care team, and reflected a highly accurate description of his minimally conscious state.

Now, we’re told, with what appears to be a bit of a triumphal air, that Michael is no longer in a coma. As stated above, THIS IS NOT NEWS. I cannot help but think that this is a highly cynical use of language, using the truth to convey an impression that is almost certainly false. I cannot but think that if Michael had emerged AT ALL from the minimally conscious state that Sabine so accurately described in April, we’d be told that Michael is leaving for rehab, that he is having problems expressing himself and will work hard to get better. Or that he’s having to learn to walk,read, write, etc all over again. But no, we’re told what we already know, and pretty much told to not ever expect further updates. Kinda like what I was thinking.

This all leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. And a huge space of sadness for Michael’s family, and for you, his fans.

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590 thoughts on “Good news?

  1. The London Telegraph, published 4:12PM GMT 19 Nov 2014;

    Michael Schumacher: ‘paralysed and in a wheelchair’
    German driver still cannot speak and has memory problems, according to former racing driver Philippe Streiff

    C&P the first few paragraphs;

    “Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is paralysed and in a wheelchair, according to former racing driver Philippe Streiff.

    The seven-time champion cannot speak and has memory problems.

    Streiff, who is himself wheelchair-bound since a crash in Brazil during pre-season tests in 1989 left him a quadriplegic, was speaking on French radio.

    The Frenchman, who is a good friend of Schumacher’s, said: “He is getting better but everything is relative. It’s very difficult. He can’t speak. Like me, he is in a wheelchair paralysed. He has memory problems and speech problems.” Streiff, 59, was seen visiting Schumacher when the German was in intensive care in Grenoble Hospital, France.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/michael-schumacher/11241129/Michael-Schumacher-paralysed-and-in-a-wheelchair.html

    • I have more faith in this article than any “professionalism” from Sabine. She has lied so many times, frankly, she makes me want to throw up all of her words!

      • Philippe Streiff is reportedly a friend of Michael’s. He is neither a physician nor a neuropsychologist. His observations are coloured by his understanding of the situation, by his hopes, etc. As such, they of course need to be taken with a (huge) grain of salt.

      • Depending on what you mean by “normal”, I’m quite sure you’re right.That said, if his level of interaction with the woman he loves and who loves him, with his children and with others who are important to him brings any happiness at all to himself and to them, then this IS the new normal, and it’s totally understandable that that level of interaction with the person “in there” is wonderful for them.

  2. Dear dr. Gary,

    My name is Filip Levačić. I am from Croatia. As You have heard, our doctors — dr. Darko Chudy and dr. Vedran Deletis had contacts with Michael’s family,and they are going to help him with ” instalation” of microchip in his head to walk and talk again. My questions are: did you heard about them, or their results, and what is your opinion about this?
    Second, as times go by, I am starting to believe, that maybe Michael was not in coma for six months, I would say that he was already in march waked up, and statments (official) were anounced later, just to make media away and not to bring up sensational news in short period. If you look Michaels carrer, his manager (was it willy weber, or kehm last 11years), they were alway giving info few months later than it has happened behind scene. Also, I dont think Michael will be 100% fit as he was, but, for me brain is computer, and in michaels case it is shaked up, and maybe this microchip will bring back chemical balance in brain that must be naturally in.
    Sorry for long post, and thanks in advance for your opinion.

    Kind regards.

    • Hi Filip. I have heard the same unconfirmed reports of contact between these two people and the Schumacher family.

      I have written a previous comment about how little evidence I see that these guys are anything other than swindlers taking advantage of a desperate, and wealthy, young woman. While I’d like this not to be the case, ultimately it’s not my business. It’s just that these guys would be world famous, and not unknown outside of Split, if they could do 1% of what they say they can.

      While it is possible that Michael actually be on vacation on his Harley in Miami, I rather think that he is in a minimally conscious state in Zurich.

      There are a number of critical differences between a brain and a computer, which is why guys like me, and not the I.T. department, still get called for patients with head injury. And to repeat, I don’t think there IS a microchip, and I certainly don’t think it will actually DO anything.

      • Dear dr. Gary,
        I really dont know what to say or to think, because it is real tragedy.. You know, I didn’t mean that Michael is now in super state, just maybe he is in advanced state of rehab. For example, IF HE WAS WAKED UP in March, maybe, because of media, they told us officialy in April he is at the begining of waken up process. And, can you tell me from your point of view, if it is positive that his physio is now helping him in rehab, and what kind of thing he could help him..
        You know, it is very sad, because, in all this glamour of world sport such as football, f1, tennis, etc.., for me, Michael is true hero because he always acted like normal, common people, you know, family man, simple, didnt have ANY kind of incident like many sportsmen stars had through sport history outside of sport. You know, such as beckham, cristiano ronaldo, tiger woods, bassketball players,etc… Guy became a first sportsmen billionaire in 2003 in history, international icon, and yet he is such a privat person. Like Federer or Nadal also. Also, always helped and gave masive amount of money to charity,etc… So, my point is, lady gaga, those vast majority of hollywood creeps on drug and alcohol, singers, footbalers or any kind of sportsmen that are living also from media, showing naked pictures, alcohilizing themselves in public, it is very sad that Michael who can be positive example for young people, in this sick world and creatures on facebook, internet,etc, is now in bed… and when I talk to other people about this, they agree and dont have much to add about Michael as a icon, but yet normal and healty person in head.
        Just want to add this, hope I am not disturbed you with this post, and I think you, as person who was involved in f1, will confirm this.

        Thanks dr. Gary.

        BR,

        Filip Levacic

      • Thank YOU Filip, for sharing your comment. Michael has always been an example for lots of people, and I’m sure that, as you imply, much of his immense popularity is due to how he is as a man, and not just simply what a talented race driver he was.

    • Schumacher is home being cared for 24/7 at the tune of over 100,000 pounds a week in a special hospital unit built at his mansion. 15 caregivers who were trained by the the last hospital he was in.
      According to the article he in a minimal conscious state….he can not talk, stand etc. Very sad.

      • It’d be useful for us if you could send the reference, so we could judge not only content but source, etc. Thanks for the heads up.

        At the very least, if this is true, it would directly contradict the family’s refutation of having done anything special to receive Michael back at home. Were this to be the case, credibility would surely take a serious hit. Reason, therefore, to be extremely prudent in accepting this story.

        Further, “poaching” away what must be 15 highly trained and specialised caregivers (unless said are working for Michael on their own time, in addition to their hospital duties) must not have gone over well with the administration at Lausanne. Lemme tell you, if I were mega wealthy and had a severely head injured relative, I’d for sure build a specialised wing . . . AT THE HOSPITAL, so it’s there when my loved one left, so that other victims of brain injury could reap the benefits. Create a scholarship fund for future rehab physics etc. Sponsor research. THAT’S the way to do it.

        If this is true, the story contains several highly disturbing aspects. I’m going to assume it’s not true, until proven otherwise.

        BTW, the minimally conscious state, cared for at home, would have been among the best outcomes imaginable if you’d have polled a bunch of head injury specialists right after the Monday morning press conference back in December.

  3. Dr Gary, you previously wrote;

    “I’m mostly glad that Corinna would appear to be open to the outside world and is able to be happy about things in her life. If she could consistently enter into contact, any contact, with the man she loves, it would be an immense gift for them both. I so hope that this is or becomes possible with further progress.”

    C&P from the article below;

    “Michael Schumacher is able to communicate with his family by moving his eyelids, and could return home by the end of the month, according to reports.”

    “Meanwhile, the Mirror has reported that Schumacher is able to answer questions from his wife and children Gina-Maria, 17, and Mick, 15, by fluttering his eyelashes.”

    Michael Schumacher ‘could be moved home within a month’
    Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, who fell into a coma after a skiing accident in December, able to communicate with family by fluttering his eyelashes, according to reports

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/michael-schumacher/10982127/Michael-Schumacher-could-be-moved-home-within-a-month.html

    Michael Schumacher ”fighting greatest battle”: Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button write to stricken legend

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/michael-schumacher-fighting-greatest-battle-3892759#ixzz38EkGxgdj

    Michael Schumacher now communicating with his family ‘by fluttering his eye-lashes’

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/michael-schumacher-could-home-next-3894225

    • If true, very good news and suggests that Michael has made significant progress in the month he has been in rehab and may well now be ‘conscious’ rather than ‘minimally conscious.’ Excellent news for Corinna and family I would think.

      • We’re not given enough information to make that distinction. And in fact, since this is an unsubstantiated report, and since Sabine specifically told us 1) we were to ignore all non official announcements and 2) there would be NO further announcements, I believe that this “article” is no more worthy of belief than anything else published to date.

    • Gary, if we assume that Michael still has a tracheostomy in place and needs (or needed when he was transferred to Lausanne) a ventilator when sleeping, I can’t understand how he would be able to talk anyway. If a patient is virtually paralysed as Michael appears to be in most accounts how could they possibly communicate other than by using their eyes even if they were conscious? This sounds like a no-win situation for the poor patient – a kind of combination of severe brain injury and locked in state.

      This is why I am interested in the latest accounts which appear to come from leaks from the clinic suggesting that he might be able to control an electric wheelchair with his mouth. Is this medically possible?

      • I’m pretty sure that the engineering challenge of interfacing the machine with whatever consistent motor responses the patient has available is entirely surmountable.

        You raise the interesting point of distinguishing states of consciousness when the spectrum of motor responses available is extremely limited. This is why the diagnosis of a vegetative state vs a minimally conscious state is so difficult – the responses can be extremely subtle, and the implications of missing them can be dramatic. This is also why advanced techniques (such as the fMRI study described in a previous post) might well soon become “routine” in aiding this determination, as they “free” the patient of the need to have intact motor pathways to express answers.

  4. Pingback: Reports Michael Schumacher has recovered from coma ‘almost certainly false’, says former F1 doctor – Fresh News Today

    • First of all, I hardly EVER give interviews. Most of what you see presented by the tabloid (read “nauseatingly scruple-challenged”) press as interviews with me are rather snippets of what I’ve written, carefully and painstakingly taken out of context and twisted for maximum sales effect.

      Second, I just read a short but very powerful novel, entitled “Stoner”. It hurt me. I have not written to the author to tell him to stop writing. You see, Dalila, in our society, as long as what is written is either true or presented as being speculation, and is not written with the intent of harming others, it’s fair game. Those whose emotions are jarred need simply not read more. We don’t muzzle those who bring unpleasant messages. That works fine in Putin’s Russia, in the PRC, DPRK etc.

      You Dalila need to stop thinking that people’s reactions determine the acceptability of a message. It doesn’t become you.

      • I appreciated the articles you’ve posted at the beginning, it really helped understanding what was really happening. I was waiting for them, hoping to see more clearly.

        But the thing is, now everything you say is amplify. Press are related it like its news. And we end up with dramatic headlines that broke my heart and makes me loose hope for nothing. Michael Schumacher is everything for me since i’m a little girl. I just hope that for us, fans, and Michael’s family you will realize the impact of your words.

        (I’m french, sorry if i made some mistake..)

      • Merci Dalila. Je pèse avec beaucoup de soin chaque mot de mes posts avant de pousser “publier”. Je vérifie si la tournure dit précisément ce que je veux dire.

        Ceci dit, je ne contrôle pas la façon dont la “presse” (notamment, mais pas uniquement, la presse à scandale) utilise mes mots. Hors contexte est habituelle, si pas constante. Présenté comme un interview personnel? Souvent. Amputé des toute les précautions et nuances dont je m’entoure? Bien sûr – sinon cela ne vend pas des journaux.

        J’ai beaucoup appris en ce qui concerne le “journalisme” actuel, et la leçon fut fort décevante. Mais ce n’est pas parce que mes mots ont été mal utilisés par autrui que je devais me taire.

      • Hi Gary

        I don’t know if you actually spoke to German magazine Bunte as quoted here, but your quote seems very reasonable to me, I was reading another discussion thread last night where it was obvious that many fans are still expecting a full recovery for Michael. Some even seem to be expecting him to be seen in public later this year at a Grand Prix or even drive again! I am very glad that I am reading your blog and consider that being able to communicate with Corinna is a good outcome, and a rather better outcome than some of the bleaker options considered earlier on your blog. This is why I think more people ought to actually read your blog and/or learn about recovery from prolonged coma.

        Hartstein said, “Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that things with Michael are as good as everyone hopes.

        “It is realistic that Corinna is getting in touch with him in some form. But anything beyond that would be a miracle,” he told the German magazine Bunte.

        http://www.autoweek.com/article/formula-one/former-formula-one-doctor-still-believes-michael-schumacher-recovery-would-be

      • I’m mostly glad that Corinna would appear to be open to the outside world and is able to be happy about things in her life. If she could consistently enter into contact, any contact, with the man she loves, it would be an immense gift for them both. I so hope that this is or becomes possible with further progress.

      • I agree, it’s good she’s all smiles and in a position to share with people now, something great for people with fewer resources.

    • Dear Dallia

      Your Irrational judgement is unpleasant and poorly and inappropriately placed on Dr. Hartstein’s blog.

      I wish you well in spite of your complete and utter disregard of the truth.

      • You can’t win.. you give a positive prognosis and get sued or charged for malpractice when wrong, or you give the straights facts (based on statistics) and cop it the other way. I still want to study medicine, but don’t envy this position.

      • When you practice good medicine, you don’t get sued too much. Especially outside the USA.

        For me, besides having a decent idea of how all this stuff works, the coolest thing about studying medicine is learning to think like a doctor. And the coolest thing about being a doctor is the way people put their lives in our hands, confident we’ll do our best, , the tremendous responsibility that’s always on our shoulders, and how hard we work on our side of that bargain. There’s nothing like it.

      • There’s a freedom to care for people that people accept.. the view of money opposing in economics.. 40 years 40% still living on less than $2 a day. The comparison interesting.

    • Knowledge is power – I’ve learnt so much about coma recovery from reading Gary’s blog. I’m tracking Michael’s recovery on coma recovery scale now from information in the public domain. I don’t think that even Corinna Schumacher would object to anything on this blog now that Michael appears to be getting a little better. .

  5. Recent updated news reports into the investigation of the missing medical files of Michael Schumacher;

    Michael Schumacher’s helicopter firm call cops over claims his medical files had been stolen

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/michael-schumachers-helicopter-firm-call-3828929#ixzz36xXbXfal

    Swiss Helicopter Firm Denies Involvement in Michael Schumacher Theft

    http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/swiss-helicopter-firm-denies-involvement-in-michael-schumacher-theft-555435?curl=1404895742

  6. Corinna appears to have spoken direct to the press saying that Michael is “improving slowly but in a noticeable way,” during a reining event this weekend at her own ranch.

    “We are moving uphill, slowly, but at least we are progressing,” Corinna Schumacher told the German tabloid Neue Post.

    I suspect Neue Post is the German equivalent of Chat or Hello ie a woman’s magazine, but it is nice to see her smiling and out and about again.

    Although shockingly sentimental and copied from other sources as usual I like this story in everyone’s favourite Daily Fail. It features Corinna as gracious, natural wife, together with supporting cast of Sabine and son Mike, who was riding.at the event. Medical details are totally absent but it does have the feel good factor and suggests to me at least that he is genuinely making some progress. Give it time ……..

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2684241/Corinna-Schumacher-pictured-smiling-public-appearance-husband-Michaels-catastrophic-ski-accident.html

    • This appears to be good news and Corinne certainly looked happy and relaxed during the event. She obviously feels that things are going in the right direction.

      Thanks for posting

  7. The investigation into the theft of Michael Schumacher’s medical records has continued and recent press reports give an update;

    France pursues Swiss firm over alleged theft of Michael Schumacher’s medical records
    France has traced the IP address of a computer belonging to the alleged thief of a medical report on Formula One legend Michael Schumacher to a Swiss helicopter firm in Zurich, prosecutors say

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/michael-schumacher/10951701/France-pursues-Swiss-firm-over-alleged-theft-of-Michael-Schumachers-medical-records.html

    Swiss helicopter firm consulted over transporting Michael Schumacher to hospital is investigated over attempts to sell comatose driver’s medical notes
    • Several pages of Michael Schumacher’s medical notes have been stolen
    • Prosecutors believe they are being made available to the media for £40,000
    • The leak has been traced to a computer in a Swiss helicopter company
    • His manager has warned anyone buying the notes will be prosecuted

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2683553/Michael-Shumacher-s-wife-Corinna-appears-public-time-months-prosecutors-close-person-trying-sell-former-F1-champion-s-medical-notes.html#ixzz36oUrvp00

    • There are only 3 rescue helicopter companies in Switzerland… And only one is based in Zürich! I hope it’s not come from them!

      Good to see Corinna out and about and smiling! :-)

    • Strange an open ip address, local in Switzerland, not professional theft and I’m wondering more if it was a favour for the fans. I think prosecution should be held off until recovery. This is a major case if celebrity privacy, and I think Michael’s views should lead it.

      • It can be if in the public interest, and if , major influence people have a right pending medical approval. This case should be handled no differently – how many people from how many counties, how deep the influence, affect..

    • Thanks so much Jane! That article started out with some questions by the reporter. By the end of the interview, he basically said, “Why don’t YOU write the article?” So I did.

      My first video blog is going to be about, unsurprisingly, the brain. I’m working hard on it because I really want it to be light-years beyond a typical “Unboxing my iPhone 5″ YouTube video! Thanks for the link. Much appreciated.

  8. There have been a few new online updates, on the investigation into theft of Michael Schumacher’s medical file;

    Report – ambulance staff photographed Schumacher file

    http://www.inautonews.com/report-ambulance-staff-photographed-schumacher-file

    C&P this section from the link above;

    “The Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick reports that investigators are now looking elsewhere, having found that the doctor’s letter was not taken or copied by staff of the university hospital in Grenoble, where Schumacher was in a coma.

    Instead, French police are reportedly now looking across the border, into Switzerland, Sonntagsblick claims.

    It is believed chief prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat suspects that it was during Schumacher’s recent two-hour ambulance transfer between Grenoble and Lausanne that the medical summary was photographed.”

    Investigation into stolen Michael Schumacher health records moves to Switzerland and Germany after thieves’ emails are tracked to Zurich

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2676265/Investigation-stolen-Michael-Schumacher-health-records-moves-Switzerland-Germany-thieves-emails-tracked-Zurich.html#ixzz36I8zampl

    C&P this section from the link above;

    “French police investigating the theft of Michael Schumacher’s hospital notes have asked for help from their Swiss and German counterparts after emails sent by the thieves were traced to Zurich.

    The request by a French prosecutor comes after emails sent to news organisations offering to sell the notes were tracked to an Internet Protocol (IP) address in Switzerland’s biggest city.

    The emails, signed Kagemusha, which is Japanese for ‘shadow warrior’, offer the notes from Schumacher’s nearly six-month stay in Grenoble Hospital after a nearly fatal skiiing accident left him in a coma.”

    • I get called all sorts of names for criticising modern society… but if I had a list of all the things that made me think “this wouldn’t have happened x years ago”, I could write a book and be richer than Schumacher.

      • Right…. x years ago this wouldn’t have happened because

        a) Michael would have succumbed to his brain injuries and the medical file would have consisted of a death certificate
        b) no privacy would have been expected or enforced for medical documentation, which would have been discussed on mainstream media and in medical schools with no patient anonymization
        c) Michael would never have been skiing in Meribel a few days before his 45th birthday, given the life expectation (should I say survival expectation?) of a F1 pilot in the 60s and 70s – and we all know what it was
        d) all of the above.

        You take your pick. I choose d).

      • Moral degradation? Seriously? are we arguing that some fool illegally (and despicably) informing the world about the brand of the bags for enteral feeding or about how many weeks blood pressure had to be controlled via medication, compares to Auschwitz, to the numerous wars we have seen in the good old days, and in general to the real life and really life-threatening problems faced and still being faced by all of us who are not worthy a few hundred millions? Patrimonially worthy I mean; how much is worth a human life?

        Michael was always very engaged about safety and awareness and we owe in no small part to his efforts that Ayrton Senna is the last F1 pilot we’ve had to mourn. Michael’s family’s disrespectful attitude towards his fans who made him into a planetary icon and into a multimillion brand is first and foremost an insult to Michael’s reputation and to his good name.

        Don’t you think Michael would have wanted his family to set up an engineering grant about effective moderate-speed (ski/bike) helmets? About safer attachments and appropriate manufacturers recommendations on sport cameras? Don’t you think he would have wanted family and VIP friends to film a TV spot recommending people who find themselves offpiste with modern downhill skis, and especially if they dont have offpiste experience, to walk back to the slope instead of skiing towards it? Where they recommend children and beginners be taught first thing to walk with their skis, even uphill. Where they openly say that Michael’s life is changed forever, he suffered a freak accident but there are so many avoidable accidents and unnecessary risks out there, please don’t do it, life is precious and health is precious, everything we take for granted can change in a handful of seconds, think about it before you do.

        You don’t think Michael would have wanted to make a difference? especially given that he won’t be able to give such speeches nor lobby safety authorities in person ever again.

        Instead, it appears his family subscribes to magical thinking. If no one talks about the real situation, or if the journalists and general public delude themselves after misinterpreting the misleading press releases, then maybe the nightmare (true nightmare which I am not discounting) will disappear.

        I would not certainly call it moral degradation nor other unpleasant words, because one has to be close to their pain to even begin understanding. But in my humble opinion they are doing Michael and humankind a no small disservice.

      • No, no, how about people act in a civilised fashion no matter what tools they use.. (I work in technological development in case you thought I was an abusive critic.) I just don’t see that people are managing very well between the line of their rights and others, and I think this is a perfect case.

    • I find it extremely thoughtless of people who criticise his family and asking them to set up a safety awareness campaign as Michael ‘would want that’. For Gods sake it’s only been six months since his wife and kids had a life of happiness. Do people honestly think Corinna has nothing better to do at the moment than set up a safety campaign as ‘Michael would want’ when she’s trying to help not only her husband, but her children at the moment?

      Leave her alone.

  9. Pingback: Reports Michael Schumacher has recovered from coma ‘almost certainly false’, says former F1 doctor - Sports News

  10. Dear Mr Harstein,

    Thank you very much for all that you posted here. It has been very interesting. It is great news that Michael has made some improvement from early this year. I am not sure if any of Michael’s family, friends or management team read this but I would like to express my sadness at the state in which Michael finds himself. He may not be aware of it but he provided great joy to me and undoubtedly millions of others. I supported him since 1994, before then I was a fan of Ayrton’s. Hopefully he will make a miraculous recovery and will be at least walking and talking etc in the near future. I fully appreciate why his family, friends and management team are reluctant to give updates on a regular basis, especially if there is nothing of substance to report. However, we have hearts too and would like to know more accurately his condition and not only the likelihood of improvement but to what to degree. I also appreciate that they may not know all of what we would like to know but they should bear in my mind our need for information about Michael. I’ll take this opportunity to reiterate my hope for Michael’s future and that of his family.

    Lawrence.

    • My gut feeling is that it is not that Corinna has ever wanted to hurt the fans but her deep instinct is to protect her husband more. Sabine has hinted a few times that it is an intimate situation. I think Michael is probably back at a stage rather similar to a pre-verbal baby. He smiles and responds to Corinna more than anyone else. If he ever recovers to the stage of remembering who he once was I am sure that he will want to tell his own story. Until then I think we all leave them in peace.

  11. I first got interested in traumatic brain injury following the massive publicity when Richard Hammond had his Top Gear crash in 2006. ‘On the Edge: My Story’ by Richard Hammond is one of the best books I have ever read.

    The DVD ‘Hammond meets Moss’ features Stirling Moss and Richard Hammond discussing their respective brain injuries with some fascinating interviews with doctors including Sid Watkins.

    Mika Hakkinen’s story is probably well known to F1 and Top Gear fans – our Finnish experts here are bound to know it well

    http://sundayafternoonclub.blogs.topgear.com/2013/11/26/in-hospital-the-doctors-finally-found-my-brain-mika-hakkinen-on-crashing-f1-and-james-may/

    • Mika Häkkinen. Kimi Räikkönen. An “Ä” and an “Ö”.
      Try to get it right, please.
      Thanks!

      PS Your spelling is nevertheless much better than spelling by our admired doctor, whose blog this is and where you and I write our comments beneath his writings.

      • Kimi Räikkönen and Mika Häkkinen – thought it might look a bit too much like showing off if I did it before.

        Let’s be honest I can only do it by copying from wiki!

      • Thanks Jane A

        There is a big difference in Finnish language in pronounciation when the vowel is with “dots” or not (an A vs. Ä or O vs Ö. Same appliest to all Nordic languages, as well to Estonian language. Also, in German, “U” is pronounced differently from “Ü” (more like “Y”).

        PS You can copy my correct spelling from here – as well as Gary can do the same.
        PPS I am not that serious as a person as my comments might imply! Just wanted to educate the other readers … and Gary as well.

    • Re: Liam Neeson’s nephew, hey yay, post on the Independent… “Stupid and pointless death…”.

      Munchhausen’s … I want to be so moral, I feel so much for the loss and waste of life, I stand above the world with pure love streaming from my heart at the waste, I just have to let everyone know how stupid and pointless it all is, they should be like me sitting on the couch, legs straight with hands clasped in lap baby calmly sitting in the floor instead of chewing on toy truck tire – probably hungry, starved by it’s mother, ohhh ahhhh, I am so pure and innocent as a child, waaaa!!!! ;-…. (cries like a baby) … the loss, the pain, the poor family… ahhhh!!!!

      What happens when he survives, no invite to the funeral obviously but what about the misdiagnosed death?

    • Peter,
      I’ve just watched this video and celebrated the fact that James Cracknell could have, it appears, survived his assault by fuel truck so well. He was lucid, charming, and orderly in his thoughts. Impressive. I knew nothing of his history so looked at wiki and found this:
      “He has attributed his survival to the fact he was wearing a cycle helmet at the time, which was “shorn in two”. In the crash he suffered a contrecoup injury to the frontal lobes of his brain. He is now back at home with his family, although his recovery may never be complete. In 2012 Cracknell and his wife wrote Touching Distance about his life before and after his brain injury, which has left him with epilepsy and a changed personality, including a short temper. Since the accident he has been conspicuous in advocating the use of bicycle helmets.”
      Contrecoup injury: When the head strikes a fixed object, the coup injury occurs at the site of impact and the contrecoup injury occurs at the opposite side. [wiki]

      Thank you for this, Peter.
      lm

    • An interesting video with James Cracknell and Mark Webber about Michaels situation and head injuries in general.

      Cheers, Peter.

      I haven’t yet watched the video but intend to, and I applaud you for making the effort to find and share it in first place.

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