Former world champion continues to fight for his life in a French Hospital.
Atrophy has been attributed to Michael Schumacher losing as much as a quarter of his body-weight as he continues to be treated for serious head injuries in France.
Schumacher has been in a medically induced coma since December 29 last year, after he hit the right side of his head on a rock while skiing with his family.
Since then, the seven-time world champion has been fighting for his life with neurosurgeons forced operate twice at Grenoble University Hospital, to alleviate pressure inside Schumacher’s skull and remove blood clots formed as a result of the accident.
However, Schumacher, who entered hospital weighing around 75 kilograms is reportedly down to just over 50, due to his lack of movement.
“While a weight loss in coma patients is normal, 20 kilos is a lot for people with normal body weights,” said Prof Dr Curt Diehm, of the Karlsbad teaching hospital in Germany.
“One must assume that his muscles have degraded greatly due to the immobility.”
Schumacher’s family have refused to believe in nothing else other than he will make a full recovery, despite privately being told by his medical team that only a miracle will see the man they remember return to them.
Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm paid tribute to the former star’s family, saying their commitment to him is amazing to see.
“His family is incredibly strong, they won’t let themselves be discouraged,” Kehm said.
“They are here every day. They are brave, they accept the situation and try to carry on together with Michael. I have to say the family is coping magnificently. I have great respect and admiration for them.”
The former Ferrari driver is currently in the “wake-up phase” of his recovery, as his medical team slowly reduce the level of the drugs i his body that are keeping him in the controlled coma, as the monitor every possible sign of a relapse or improvement.
Schumacher has been in the thoughts of the Formula One season at the start of the 2014 racing season, with Bahrain renaming the first corner after the F1 legend, while winner of the Melbourne Grand Prix Nico Rosberg dedicated his victory to his fallen contemporary.
Mercedes’ executive director Toto Wolff dedicated the win to Rosberg’s compatriot Schumacher.
“This victory has a very special meaning for us,” Wolff said. “I would like to dedicate it to Michael, who has been in all our thoughts this weekend.”
“He will keep fighting, as only he knows how, and we are sending all our strength to him.”