When news broke that Michael Schumacher was admitted to a health care facility in Paris last week, hopes went high that the famed sportsman is finally starting on his road to full recovery. Reports have indicated Schumacher was the recipient of "a revolutionary stem cell treatment," that doctors hoped would gradually restore the former F1 ace.
It has been confirmed Schumacher is undergoing treatment at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in the French capital. Specifically, the former car racer is receiving stem cell therapy that would reduce inflammation caused by complications from injuries.
In his case, Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in December 2013 while on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. Doctors put Schumacher in a medically-induced coma as he was left paralyzed by the tragic accident.
The Schumacher family has opted to keep the race driver from the public eye as efforts continue to search for the answer to his medical condition. It appeared, however, that nothing much has changed nearly six years after the skiing accident.
In a report, The Telegraph said Schumacher still has trouble communicating "while it is understood he cannot walk or stand." The publication said the latest update came from Jean Todt, who served as manager when Schumacher was racing under the Ferrari banner.
True or not, the latest development on Schumacher's medical status is not entirely surprising even if he is undergoing stem cell therapy, which is believed to regenerate damaged tissues. According to Matilde Leonardi, a neurological expert, people need to realize that the treatment is not a magic potion.
There is no illusion that after the stem cell treatment, Schumacher will soon be on his road to recovery and the same applies to other patients who share the injuries that the world champion racer is suffering from, Leonardi said.
"Unfortunately, studies conducted with stem cells for diseases that affect the brain and marrow have not given the hoped-for effects," Leonardi told The Sun.
The medical expert further explained that there might be improvements arising from stem cell treatment, in which patients could slowly transition from vegetative state to minimum consciousness.
"Patients in Schumacher's condition open their eyes, they can turn their head when you call them, they can move their thumbs in response to a question, and they can cry at the end of a story," Leonardi said in illustrating how minimum consciousness works.
Meanwhile, Todt said in a statement that Schumacher is now in a stable condition. He added that the former racing champ remains in a fighting mode and visibly not planning to give up.