Michael Schumacher's family celebrates his 50th birthday amid rumors he may seek treatment in US
The accident Michael Schumacher suffered while skiing with his then 14-year-old son Mick in the French Alps on December 29, 2013 left him with a traumatic brain injury
Thursday, January 3, will mark a momentous day for Michael Schumacher, arguably the greatest F1 driver of all-time. The German will be turning 50, although, in what can only be described as unfortunate circumstances. The accident the driver suffered while skiing with his then 14-year-old son Mick in the French Alps on December 29, 2013, left him with a traumatic brain injury, and updates about his condition have been scarce.
Part of the reason there was been so much secrecy surrounding Schumacher is due to his fiercely protective wife of 23 years, Corinna. She has insisted on privacy every step of the way and updates about her husband's health have been few and far between, though recently, news emerged that he was no longer bed-ridden or existing on tubes.
And while his family has refused to comment on that speculation, they did release a rare statement on Facebook in light of his upcoming birthday where they thanked his legions of fans for their continued support and that they were doing everything possible to ensure he recovered fully.
"You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him," the statement read. "Please understand if we are following Michael's wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy. At the same time, we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy year 2019."
Indeed, there is little doubt that the German is receiving the best possible care. After coming out of his medically-induced coma, he was relocated to his £50 million ($63 million) mansion on the banks of Lake Geneva in Gland, a small town of 13,000 in Switzerland, and continued to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation privately. It was rumored he was receiving extensive nursing and therapy care that cost over £50,000 ($63,000) a week.
German magazine Bravo also reported recently that medics were preparing to move Schumacher to a clinic in Dallas which specialized in the treatment of brain injuries. The news was seemingly confirmed by clinic director Mark Weeks as well, who said cryptically, "We have a lot of experience with patients who are suffering this kind of trauma. There is probably no clinic in Europe that treats as many cases as we do."
The statement also announced news concerning his Keep Fighting Foundation, his app, and a new exhibition that will pay tribute to his achievements. "As a gift to him, you and us, Keep Fighting Foundation has created a virtual museum," it said. "The Official Michael Schumacher App will be released tomorrow, so that we can review all together Michael's successes. The app is another milestone in our effort to do justice to him and you, his fans, by celebrating his accomplishments."
"Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we!" it continued. "That's why we remember his successes with the Michael Schumacher Private Collection exhibition in Cologne, by publishing memories in social media and by continuing his charitable work through the Keep Fighting Foundation. We want to remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation."