Netflix has gradually become synonymous with its impressive and consistent string of documentary efforts.
From sweeping series to palatable features, subscribers have already been treated to a wealth of exciting examples this year, from Seaspiracy to Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror.
The latest to entice audiences is Schumacher, a sports documentary helmed by Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns, Vanessa Nöcker, and Michael Wech. It serves as an enlightening portrait of the German Formula One driver, who remains amongst the most accomplished titans in the realm of racing.
For those unfamiliar with Michael’s electrifying career, the documentary will prove highly educational. However, even if you do know a great deal about his records and so forth, what you perhaps weren’t so knowledgeable on is his accident.
There are plenty of revelations and touching, intimate details delivered courtesy of the film, so let’s take a moment to put them into perspective. Importantly, it’s worth asking first…. Is Michael Schumacher still in a coma?
Is Michael Schumacher still in a coma?
No, it was confirmed that Michael was brought out of the medically-induced coma by June 2014, less than a year after the accident took place on December 29th 2013.
He crashed and hit his head on a rock while skiing with his son Mick on the slopes above Méribel in the French Alps. Despite wearing a helmet he suffered a severe head injury, but it was the helmet that ultimately saved his life.
Michael was swiftly airlifted to Grenoble Hospital and underwent surgeries, subsequently placed in a coma while experiencing the afflictions of “traumatic brain injury”.
After being brought out of the coma he was allowed to return to his Switzerland home, where it was reported that he remained in a wheelchair under the care of his family.
The documentary sheds new light on the recovery process, as for many years the family has wished for the media to respect his privacy and allow him crucial time to focus on rehabilitation.
His wife Corinna and their children – Gina and Mick – are interviewed and their personal insight into Michael’s health is sure to be a godsend to fans who never stopped holding out hope for the racing legend’s recovery.
The road to recovery
Looking back on the years since the accident, it’s worth shining a light on some of the important milestones and updates, chronicling from 2013 up until the present.
As noted by The Sun, Sabine Kehm – Michael’s manager – said that he was making “progress” upon coming out of the coma, but was nevertheless approaching a “long difficult fight”. This is also when the family established they would not be relaying updates to curious fans.
The same year, former racer and friend of Michael’s, Philippe Streiff, explained that he was unable to speak and paralysed.
In May 2015, his manager issued an update via a video message, saying that he has continued to improve but there’s still a long way to go. Flashforward to September 2016 and it’s suggested that Michael is still unable to walk.
Again, in August 2018 it was reported in a French magazine called Paris March that he is still in a wheelchair. However, in July 2019, his followers were treated to an update of hope after hearing F1 boss Jean Todt claim that Michael is making “good progress”, and that they had watched races together.
“Michael is here”
Le Parisien then reported in September 2019 that he had been admitted to Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou in Paris, where he would undergo stem cell treatment. Almost a year later, his son Mick penned a touching open letter in which he explained how much of an inspiration his father has been.
For years the efforts of doctors and the family continued, and in August 2021 F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone perhaps delivered the most uplifting update yet, suggesting that Michael may be able to address questions and concerns from the public himself one day: “He is not with us at the moment. But when he gets better, he’ll answer all the questions.
Most recently, in September 2021 before the documentary premiered on Netflix, his wife commented that “everybody misses Michael, but Michael is here – different, but here. He still shows me how strong he is every day.”
Schumacher is now streaming on Netflix.
In other news, Is Michael Schumacher still in a coma? Recovery explored