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UPDATE: Schumi back home at last

2014-09-09 16:29

HOW THE YEARS HAVE PASSED: Michael Schumacher in his early days (inset) and back in 2011. Now he faces his biggest battle - at home. Image: AFP

STEPHANIE NEBEHAY

GENEVA, Switzerland - Michael Schumacher has left hospital to continue his recovery at his home but the former Formula 1  champion still faces "a long and difficult road" thanks to  his skiing fall in 2013.

His manager and spokesperson Sabine Kehm told Reuters: "Henceforth, Michael's rehabilitation will take place at his home. Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks.

"There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead."

ROCKY FALL

A spokesman for the university hospital in Lausanne confirmed the 45-year-old German, a seven-times Formula 1 champion, had left.

Schumacher sustained severe head injuries when he fell while skiing in a rocky area of the French Alps in late December and was transferred to Lausanne in June 2014 after emerging from a medically induced coma.

He underwent nearly three months of treatment in an outdoor section of the hospital known as "Jardin des Sens" (Garden of the Senses), shielded from view. It specialises in the recovery of severely traumatised neurological patients by exposing them to water, scents and other elements.

The family home is along Lake Geneva in the Swiss town of Gland, where he has lived quietly for years with his German wife Corinna and their two teenage children.

Since the accident, Corinna has visited her husband almost daily in Grenoble and Lausanne, taking time out recently for horse-riding events or to attend the Montreux Jazz Festival in July.

OFFERED TO MEDIA

Last month a man suspected of leaking Schumacher's medical files was found hanged in his police cell, Zurich's cantonal prosecutor said. The man, who was not named, worked as a manager at Swiss air rescue service Rega which was involved in Schumacher's transfer from Grenoble hospital to University Hospital of Lausanne.

The French daily Le Dauphine Libere reported in July 2014 that leaked documents were being offered to European media for some 60,000 Swiss francs. Schumacher's family, via his agent Kehm, had said criminal charges and damages would be sought against anyone involved in the illegal sale or publication of his confidential records.

Schumacher, who won a record 91 F1 Grands Prix, left the sport in 2013 year after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes which followed an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006.

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