This is not how Michael Schumacher planned on spending his 45th birthday, but his loyal fans are holding a vigil as a way of marking the special day, as he continues to fight for his life after a skiing accident.
Dozens of fans came to the hospital in the French city of Grenoble to show their support for the seven-time Formula One champion, who remains in critical condition as doctors try to reduce pressure in his brain.
The German race car driver suffered the serious injury while skiing in the French Alps on Sunday when he fell, head first, on a rock
Busloads of supporters — which Michael Schumacher has in abundance — began arriving at the hospital to show they are standing by their fallen hero.
According to reports, Schumacher had planned to spent his 45th birthday surrounded by friends and family at his chalet in the Meribel resort, where he suffered the accident.
Instead, he lays in a coma almost a week after the accident suffered in an off-piste area of the resort while skiing with his son.
There were also plans to relaunch his website, which was to showcase Michael Schumacher’s life after retirement from racing.
Following the accident, at about 11 am on Sunday, the racing legend was airlifted to a local hospital and later to the clinic in Grenoble where doctors performed brain surgery to reduce swelling in his brain.
Schumi, as he is affectionately known, is currently listed in critical, but stable condition in a medically-induced coma.
Michael Schumacher’s wife Corina, brother Ralf, father Rold, son Mick and daughter Gina-Maria have been reportedly taking turns staying by his bedside.
At around 10 am on Friday, the buses full of fans began arriving despite the rainy weather. Most of the supporters are also Ferrari followers and they waved their flags in silence for Schumacher.
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) January 3, 2014
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Michael Schumacher’s family released a statement of gratitude thanking everyone for their encouragement and support during these difficult days.
A message of thanks from Michael Schumacher’s family to the fans who showed their support for him in Grenoble today pic.twitter.com/tBTKprUcMo
— Connor (@cmckinleyF1) January 3, 2014
While doctors are not giving an update on Michael Schumacher’s condition on Friday, family and fans are hoping the champ can pull out one last win, the most important one of his life.