Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has been discharged from the French hospital where he has been treated since December.
The dramatic news was announced by his manager Sabine Kehm who said Schumacher had left CHU Grenoble ‘to continue his long phase of rehabilitation’.
The statement declared: ‘He is not in a coma anymore.’
Schumacher, 45, was transferred this morning to University Hospital Lausanne in Switzerland.
The facility is about 20 miles from the home of the seven-time F1 champion. He lives in a mansion worth £50 million on the shores of Lake Geneva with his devoted wife Corinna and their teenage children Mick and Gina Marie.
It is not known whether Schumacher is breathing spontaneously but it is believed that he will continue to be fed intravenously for some time to come. No detailed information was given on his condition or the form of his on-going treatment.
Schumacher has been in hospital since December 29 when he suffered a freak ski accident in the French resort of Meribel which left him brain damaged and fighting for his life.
In the last few weeks there has been widespread speculation that he is in a permanent vegetative state, meaning that he is clinically awake but unable to move or speak.
Last Friday there were rumours he was leaving intensive care and being transferred to a specialized rehabilitation clinic.
The German magazine Bunte said the driver’s life was no longer in danger but his chances of making a full recovery appeared to have diminished.