Schumacher accident – Headway UK briefing

Jan 8, 2014



As you will all no doubt be aware, former Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher is currently in an induced coma following a skiing accident on 29 December. Given Headway’s position as the voice of authority on brain injury issues, we were contacted by a number of media sources and asked to comment. This email is update you on what we’ve said to date.


The statement we issued focussed primarily on offering support to Michael’s family. Many families associated with Headway will have experienced the pain and anguish of sitting by the bedside of a loved one who is in a coma, not knowing what the future may hold. We have received hundreds of messages of support for the family from Headway supporters across the UK via our Facebook page. Our primary message at this time will remain one of support to Michael’s family and all those families here in the UK going through similar experiences. Through commenting in the media, we can reach out to families in need of our support.


Inevitably, however, the issue of helmets has come to the fore and our statement briefly addresses this. While it is incredibly frustrating that it takes a tragedy of this nature for people to realise the value of wearing a helmet, we hope that more people will now wear them while skiing or snowboarding and we will continue to promote this important message.


To view our statement, visit Here you will also be able to see James Cracknell’s interview on Daybreak, where he uses his own personal experience to empathise with Michael and his family and promote the message that with help (such as from Headway), there can be life after brain injury.


You can also see an interview Peter McCabe gave to Sky News. In addition, there are links at the bottom of the page to related articles. These include:


An information piece explaining what happens in a TBI


A powerful editorial feature by Beverley in which she passionately and robustly puts forward the case for wearing helmets. A must-read.


Another editorial piece calling for all skiers and snowboarders to wear helmets.


Finally, this link will take you to a blog on the Third Sector website. Written by Martin Edwards, it is a glowing endorsement of Headway and the work being done across the UK to help people rebuild their lives following brain injury. We thank Martin, who has a connection with Headway Dorset, for drafting this excellent article.


  • The Sun: Charlotte Elmore: ‘Skiing put me in a coma…just like Schu’

Charlotte Elmore tells her story in today’s Sun newspaper. As the paper’s website is a subscription-only site, I cannot attach the link. However, Charlotte’s story can be read here:


We may be contacted again for comment when Michael’s situation changes. Similarly, some groups and branches may be approached for comment by their local media. If so, please feel free to contact me if you would like any support or advice on how to handle the enquiry.


In the meantime, our thoughts remain with Michael and his family – and indeed all those families in the UK who are either currently going through a similar ordeal to the Schumachers or who are now reliving difficult times as a result of media coverage of this tragic event.