Michael Schumacher has emerged from his coma, which the German had been in since his skiing accident on December 29 last year.
It is a day many believed would not come, given the time which has elapsed, re-instilling faith that light still remains at the end of what had been depicted as a never ending tunnel.
In a statement issued by the German’s manager, Sabine Kehm, it was revealed that Schumacher had been transferred to the University Hospital of Lausanne, where the seven-time World Champion will “continue his long phase of rehabilitation.”
The statement added, “further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye“, meaning it is likely to be some time prior to another update.
Already, the news has polarised fans, with many claiming the lack of concrete information on Schumacher’s actual state as indicative of a negative outcome.
Kehm’s updates throughout the process have drawn criticism, the brevity and vagueness of which hasn’t been received well in most quarters.
In his blog, the outspoken Gary Hartstein – ex-F1 safety and medical delegate, painted a pessimistic outlook, declaring the statement as “highly cynical use of language, using the truth to convey an impression that is almost certainly false.”
Ostensibly taking aim at Kehm specifically, Hartstein remarked “we’re told what we already know, and pretty much told to not ever expect further updates.”
Hartstein – who has covered the process extensively on his website, himself has come under fire for certain opinions – which have been labelled as uninformed, given he has had no direct role in Schumacher’s treatment.
Others, conversely- this writer included, interpreted Kehm’s announcement as a small, yet positive step in the right direction, following months where no information was divulged.
What has always been clear, if and when Schumacher’s condition improved, is that it would only represent the commencement of a long process ahead.
It is understandable that people are impatient for a definitive prognosis, but the reality is that it won’t be known for a long time to come.
This has been construed as meaning there is little or no hope of any meaningful recovery, when nobody really knows where this could end up.
It is this notion which should fill people with optimism. It might not be any time this year, or next, that this process has a resolution.
What is important is that Michael Schumacher is still with us now, six months later, and he must be given every opportunity to defy the conventional wisdom that no good can come of this situation. He’s earned that privilege.
He won ninety-one Grands Prix on the track. This progress surely constitutes victory number ninety-two, and whilst another one might seem fanciful at this stage, the latest news brings hope that one day it might just happen.
Keep fighting Michael!