- POSTED: 06 Jan 2014 18:39
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Michael Schumacher may just defy death once more, and emerge from the medically-induced coma following his skiing accident. But life in the fast lane is probably unlikely for the speed champ.
A week after hitting his head on a skiing accident on the French Alps, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher remains in a medically-induced coma.
Despite the health complications from being immobile for a long period of time, doctors say that being in a medically-induced coma is a patient's best chance at life.
Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is still alive eight years after suffering a stroke at the height of his career, leading doctors to place him in a medically-induced coma.
Former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head by a gunman, recovered after being placed in a medically-induced coma, and is today a staunch anti-gun lobbyist.
But those who wake from a coma usually have to write a new chapter in living as the brain is as much a mystery as it is an amazing organ.
In less than a year, Giffords was able to walk, speak, read and write.
Although she now walks with a limp and speaks haltingly as the bullet hit the left part of her brain, she is able to sing as her right brain was less affected.
In the case of Schumacher, both family and doctors are keeping a close watch as questions swirl on just how the racing champ who would cheat death on the track came to be felled by a bump on a ski slope.
Countering claims that Schumacher was going fast on the slopes, is a German eyewitness who has come forward with a video clip which he said he inadvertently caught on his smartphone.
The 35-year-old who was filming his girlfriend on the slopes of the Alpine city of Grenoble says Schumacher was descending the slope at a "leisurely" pace at "a maximum speed of 20 kilometres an hour".
Schumacher who was air-lifted after the accident, underwent two surgeries to ease pressure and bleeding in the brain.
By putting Schumacher into a coma, doctors are basically buying time for the racing champ to heal himself.
As opposed to a coma, a medically-induced coma is reversible once the patient stops receiving the drugs being administered.
With the brain in deep sleep through anesthesia and less blood flow to the brain, swelling that could put damaged areas at greater risk is avoided and the brain will have time to heal.
While in the medically-induced coma, Schumacher passed his 45th birthday and even received a friendly challenge from former racing rival Mika Hakkinen, the double Formula One world champion who suffered a near fatal crash during a practice session for the 1995 Australian Grand Prix.
"Your accident is now just another challenge. You have to fight hard again, just like we both used to do on the track," the Finnish driver said in a letter.
"Do me a favour: just this once don't try to beat the clock. You don't have to post your best time in this race. You have to take all the time you need."