Michael Schumacher now ‘conscious’ after stem-cell therapy in Paris

Michael Schumacher is now ‘conscious’ after undergoing stem-cell therapy at a Paris hospital

  • Champion driver was admitted to Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris Monday
  • Schumacher is now ‘conscious’ after stem cell transfusions, a nurse claims 
  • The 50-year-old suffered a near-fatal brain injury in a skiing accident in 2013 
  • He was expected to be discharged from the hospital in France on Wednesday 

Michael Schumacher is ‘conscious’ after being admitted to a Paris hospital for stem-cell treatment on Monday, a report claims.

The seven-time Formula One champion was admitted under tight guard Monday to the Georges-Pompidou hospital for transfusions of inflammation-reducing stem cells.

The newspaper said the 50-year-old German, who suffered a near-fatal brain injury in a 2013 skiing accident in the French Alps, was expected to be discharged today.

A nurse told Le Parisien: ‘Yes he is in my service … And I can assure you that he is conscious.’ 

A blue and yellow ambulance from Geneva, Switzerland, is seen parked outside the Hôpital Georges-Pompidou in Paris on Tuesday after reportedly taking Michael Schumacher from his home to the centre for stem cell treatment

Schumacher pictured alongside his wife Corinna at the ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio

Suchmacher’s son Mick was in Chatres, just south of Paris where he attended the funeral of Formula 2 racer Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in a crash at the Belgian Grand Prix

Following the accident, Schumacher’s condition stabilised after he was placed in a drug-induced coma, from which he later emerged.

Since September 2014, he has received round the clock specialist care at his home in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the banks of Lake Geneva.

Le Parisien, citing sources it did not name, said Schumacher has been treated at least twice previously at the Georges-Pompidou hospital, admitted each time under a false name and treated by a small medical team.

It is understood Professor Philippe Menasché was due to treat Schumacher with ‘infusions of stem cells’ which are designed to produce a ‘systemic anti-inflammatory action.’

Inside, he was taken to a first-floor cardiovascular unit on a gurney with a dark-blue covering that hid his face and body.

The paper said about ten security agents, some equipped with earphones, watched over the patient.

Professor Menasche said details of Schumacher’s treatment would remain ‘secret’ for reasons of medical confidentiality. 

On the two previous visits, Schumacher arrived by helicopter from Switzerland and landed at a heliport in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris.

During his first stay in Paris, the patient underwent tests at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital, but key work by Professor Menache was postponed.

Schumacher has not be seen in public since suffering the near-fatal head injury while skiing in 2013

Schumacher’s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm declined to comment on the development.

Schumacher was skiing in the French Alps with his son Mick – who now races in F2 – when he fell on December 29, 2013.

He hit the right side of his head on a rock, splitting open his helmet.

Doctors worked frantically to remove blood clots from his brain, but some were left because they were too deeply embedded.

Schumacher has been recuperating at home in Switzerland since and is visited only by close friends, none of whom have divulged specifics about his state of health.

Sportsmail reported last December that although he is making slow progress, if any at all, Schumacher is not bed-ridden or living day by day on tubes.

He watches F1 races on TV, including with his friend and former Ferrari boss Jean Todt, the FIA president.

Schumacher in action during the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in April 2002

Schumacher talks with Nick Fry as he prepares to drive during the final practice session prior to qualifying for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix in 2010

The skiing accident left him with severe head injuries and in a medically-induced coma for several months.

In January his family released a rare statement saying he was in ‘the very best of hands’.

The wall of secrecy, enforced at the request of his wife Corinna, was established to protect one of the biggest names in modern sporting times.

Schumacher’s family are right to conceal his medical condition, Formula One’s head of motorsport Ross Brawn has said.

Brawn is one of only a handful of people to have visited the stricken driver as he recovers alongside his family in Switzerland.

Brawn, who helped mastermind Schumacher’s success at Benetton and Ferrari, and has visited the former champion in Switzerland.

‘I am constantly in touch with Corinna, and I totally agree with their decision,’ he said.

‘Michael has always been a very private person and that’s been a guiding principle in his career, his life and his family always agreed with that choice.

‘It’s completely understandable that Corinna has wanted to maintain the same approach, even after the tragic event, and it’s a decision we must all respect.

‘I’m sure the millions of people who are still Michael fans will understand it, too.’

Schumacher remains motor racing’s most successful driver, with a record 91 Grand Prix wins. He won his first two titles with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before five in a row with Ferrari between 2000-2004.  

Schumacher’s family fiercely protects his privacy. Thick forest around his castle-like home and high surrounding walls provide sanctuary from fan and media intrusion. 

WHO IS THE PIONEERING HEART SURGEON TREATING MICHAEL SCHUMACHER WITH STEM CELLS?

Dr Menasché is a world expert in stem cell treatment 

Michael Schumacher was admitted to Pompidou hospital in Paris to be treated by Dr Philippe Menasche.

Dr Menasché is a cardiothoracic surgeon who, with his colleagues, has long been working on using stem cells to repair damaged hearts.

Stem cells are not yet differentiated, meaning they have the potential to develop into many of the different types of cells and tissues in the human body.

Research on them has generated both excitement – that they could repair or replace damaged parts of the body – and controversy, because the most versatile stem cells are taken from embryos.

Dr Menasché and his lab work with a variety of cell therapies to treat heart diseases and injuries.

They first focused on a type of stem cells called skeletal myoblasts.

These stem cells are not as versatile as embryonic stem cells, but have can be taken from a patients own skeletal muscle.

Dr Menasché is treating Schumacher at Paris’s Pompidou hospital

Scientists first started experimenting with transplanting these cells into the heart in 1995, in the hopes that they would help patients with heart disease or in heart failure to grow new, stronger tissue.

Dr Menasché’s 2008 study in 2008 was one of the most well-regarded clinical trials of this method – but, ultimately, the procedure did not result in better heart function for the patients.

He has since moved on to a new technique. Dr Menasche now bioengineers tissue and uses it in combination human embryonic stem cells that are primed to become heart tissue, called cardiac progenitors.

In 2018, he published a study demonstrated that these cells could be safely transplanted into patients with failing left heart ventricles.

Dr Menasché’s team aims to use their technique to treat patients in end-stage heart failure for whom more traditional treatments have failed – though it is unclear what stage these trials are now in.

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