Michael Schumacher may never return to normality, according to medical insiders.
Schumacher was seriously injured following a ski accident in the French Alps in December, 2013. Immediately following his accident, he was placed in a coma, which he eventually exited several months later.
For the last few months, he has been recovering at his Swiss mansion near Lake Geneva. However, his wife, Corinna, has enforced a complete media blackout, which means that there has been very little news of his recovery or progress.
But now an insider has told the Express that Schumacher is still mute, he has "limited awareness" of his surroundings, and he is unable to walk.
The insider added, "Progress is painfully slow. There is no miracle on the horizon."
To try and aid Schumacher's recovery, a team of 15 doctors and nurses care for the seven-time Formula One world champion on a round-the-clock basis. Professor Jean-Francois Payen, the doctor who operated on Schumacher immediately after his accident on December 29, 2013, is also in constant contact with the team, as well as Schumacher's wife.
It's now believed that the Schumachers have spent in excess of $15 million on a special clinic that was built in his Swiss home. The team have to massage Schumacher for hours every day to stimulate muscle mass while he is examined on an hourly basis in an attempt to spot improvements.
Peter Hamlyn, who works as a neurological consultant and surgeon, has also been talking to the Express about Schumacher's chance of recovery, and he's admitted that it could take several more months and even years before the former Ferrari and Benetton driver shows signs of dramatic improvement.
Hamlyn added that the main focus is now on managing the expectations of Schumacher's family and reminding them to be patient. Michael and Corinna Schumacher have two children, 15-year-old Mick and 17-year-old Gina-Maria.
"What tortures the public is the same thing that tortures the family - progress is slow, progress is uncertain," Hamlyn declared. "If you look at severe head injury victims who go on to make a good recovery - and I'm not saying all do - it will always be a story of years."
Hamlyn then added, "The first months are dominated by questions of survival. Gradually as the weeks and months go by those questions of survival turn into questions of the quality of survival."
[Image via Speed Cafe]