The Internet was overtaken with a brief burst of euphoria when it was reported that seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher was out of his coma and had recognised his wife.
Michael Schumacher has woken up from his coma. Oh glorious day!
— Gino Quillamor (@ginoboi) April 26, 2014
So glad Schumacher is out of a coma finally.... That's a bad dude
— VERSACE SAVATGY (@versacesavatgy) April 25, 2014
However it turns out that reports of his recovery have been wildly exaggerated.
Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, has denied that this is the case, according to BILD journalist Nicola Pohl who tweeted, "Schumacher awake? Sorry, but those Rumors from Spain apparently not true. Kehm just texted me she hadn't confirmed anything to RTL".
So where did the rumors originate from? According to the Auto Evolution website, "We have no idea what was the original source for the bogus report, albeit the Spanish version of RT is the most quoted".
The report was widely picked up and is still going viral around the web. Unsurprising given the number of people who are anxiously awaiting for a glimmer of good news about their hero.
The only piece of news that we received via official sources about Schumacher was on 13 April, when Kehm said "There are short moments of consciousness and he is showing small signs of progress".
"There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious, which make us happy and give us great courage. Of course I am not a doctor, but medically, there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious, the latter meaning there is an ability to interact with his surroundings.
"I don't want to disclose details out of respect for the family, but we have no doubt at all in the abilities of the doctors treating Michael, they are experts in their field."
Kehm stressed that any interaction with Schumacher is "on a very limited basis" and added that "a medical prognosis is not possible" due to the nature of his brain injury.
Schumacher has been in a medically induced coma in Grenoble, France, since being badly injured in a ski accident on December 29 in the French resort of Meribel with his son and friends.
Kehm said Schumacher's family have been touched by a deluge of tributes and support from fans of the racing driver, but constant media speculation, particularly in German newspapers, has caused the family some anguish.
"What upsets the family most is media quoting doctors who are not treating Michael and untruths are constructed from these," said Kehm, who has been in Grenoble nearly every day since the accident.
The 45-year-old Schumacher underwent two operations in the days after the accident to remove life-threatening blood clots before being placed into a coma.
The family announced at the end of January that drugs used to keep him in his deep sleep were being reduced with a view to bringing him back to consciousness.
In February, his friend and former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa was quoted as saying that Schumacher seemed to respond to him during a visit.
"He is sleeping, he looks normal and he showed a few responses with his mouth," Massa told German tabloid Bild.
And last month, Schumacher's family said they were confident that the racing legend who defied death more than once on the track would pull through.
Schumacher survived a motorbike accident in Spain in 2009, during which he suffered head and neck injuries but was released from hospital after just five hours.
Kehm once again asked that the privacy of Schumacher's wife Corinna and their two children be respected, while thanking well-wishers for their support.
With inputs from AFP
First Published On : Apr 26, 2014 09:14 IST