Sad details of Schumacher’s pain
THE long and arduous path to recovery for Michael Schumacher has regularly been referred to as the sporting world's best kept secret.
The family of the Formula One legend has kept tight-lipped on his recovery from a horrific brain injury suffered while skiing in late 2013.
Lawyers confirmed in 2015 he was "unable to walk or stand alone" and no longer has the use of speech or memory. Now, closing in on five years since the traumatic incident rocked the racing world, fresh details of the seven-time champion's struggle have emerged via a report from French magazine Paris Match.
Roughly 15 people, ranging from specialist doctors to physiotherapists, take turns in seeing to Schumacher at his home by Switzerland's Lake Geneva. Therapy sessions include playing sounds of high-pitched F1 engines and encouraging him to steer a Volkswagen Golf around his villa in the hope of reigniting some memory in the 49-year-old.
Daily sessions with physiotherapists have reportedly begun making progress - however small - in the German icon's recovery. Insiders revealed snippets of Schumacher's baby-steps rehabilitation, confirming he could "sketch a few gestures in his aquatic pool".
Two anonymous relatives who visit Schumacher heartbreakingly revealed the racing legend occasionally breaks down in emotion.
"When you put him in his wheelchair facing the magnificent panorama of the mountains overlooking the lake, Michael sometimes cries," Paris Match reported.
Reports from The Sun in July revealed wife Corinna Schumacher dropped €30 million ($A53 million) on mansion in Majorca.
The huge property, which is near the town of Andratx, reportedly features two swimming pools, a large garden, a helipad, a guest villa and stunning sea views.
It was initially believed the property would be used as a holiday home as the family continues to be based in Switzerland. Family spokeswoman Sabine Kehm denied reports the Schumacher's would be moving permanently.
The Schumacher family has a longstanding relationship with the Andratx area, often staying at the house of racing manager Willi Weber before Michael's accident. The affluent Mediterranean municipality often finds itself in the presence of some of the biggest names in German sport, including forme tennis superstar Boris Becker and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos.
Palma, the capital of Majorca which sits roughly 30km from the estate, is also home to a brand new university hospital and private clinic with specialist doctors.
The fresh insight into Schumacher's battle came after son Mick shared details of his relationship with his father in an interview with the BBC.
The promising Formula 3 driver hopes to follow his father's footsteps in becoming a successful F1 driver.
"My dad had a huge influence on my career,'' he said. "He was my idol and I am following everything he did and see if I can use it myself and I am really happy with that … the goal is to win in F1, that is the aim.
"You still have to show what you can do. That's my goal. I want to prove that I am a proper racing driver and not only show I have got the same name."