F1 motor racing legend Michael Schumacher is expected to finally undergo pioneering cell therapy surgery in Paris on Tuesday after it was postponed because of an ‘unexpected health problem’ over the summer.
Details of the 50-year-old’s ongoing treatment emerged after he arrived at the George Pompidou hospital in the French capital on Monday.
The seven times world champion suffered brain damage in a ski accident almost six years ago, but his health has improved considerably since he emerged from an induced coma.
He is now in the care of Professor Philippe Menasche, a cardiac surgeon specialising in stem cell research, after two visits Paris from his home in Switzerland over the summer.
According to Le Parisien newspaper, Schumacher was first inspected by Professor Menasche, 69, at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital, where he is a director of the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute, and then transferred to the George Pompidou.
The news outlet reported: "At the end of last July, the driver was due to return for a new session at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital.
"But an unexpected health problem prevented this. The treatment was postponed to the beginning of this week, when Professor Menasche got back from holiday."
Schumacher will receive stem cells to obtain an anti-inflammatory effect throughout his systemon Tuesday, Le Parisien suggests.
Professor Menasche is known to perform surgery in the morning, before devoting his afternoons to laboratory research.
He is best known for performing the world’s first embryonic cell transplant on a patient with heart failure in 2014.
Schumacher, who turned 50 this year, has not been seen in public since falling as he skied off-piste with his son, Mick, then 14, near Meribel, in the French Alps, on December 29 2013.
His head hit a rock and – despite wearing a helmet – the German suffered a traumatic brain injury and was put into a medically induced coma.
Schumacher was soon displaying ‘moments of consciousness’ and was gradually withdrawn from the coma, as medics reported ‘small encouraging signs’.
Le Parisien reported: "It was at 3:40 pm on Monday that a stretcher arrived on the first floor of the Georges Pompidou European Hospital."
There was a blue cloth on Schumacher that ‘completely covered his body and face,’ as he was taken into the Continuous Monitoring Unit of the Cardiovascular Surgery Department.
The security contingent was ‘made up of about ten people,’ the news outlet reported, adding that Professor Menache was ‘in charge of the group.’
Schumacher had originally arrived in a blue and yellow ambulance registered in Geneva.
The treatment should take a few hours on Tuesday morning, with Schumacher returning home on Wednesday.
In turn, Professor Menasche said details of Schumacher’s treatment would remain ‘secret’ for reasons of medical confidentiality.
During his last two visits to Paris this year, Schumacher arrived by helicopter from Switzerland and landed at a heliport in Issy-les-Moulineaux.
German Archbishop Georg Gänswein has visted Schumacher regularly, and said he is constantly looked after by his wife, Corinna, 50, and their daughter Gina-Marie, 22, and Mick, now 20.
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