Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 1/7/15

In what has to be the first positive news for fans and family of Michael Schumacher in a long time, the Formula 1 racing champion is showing "moments of consciousness and awakening."After more than three months in a coma, the seven-time champion is "making progress," said Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm.Schumacher has opened his eyes and has had interaction with his environment, claims Kehm,  although in a minimal way.The 45-year-old Schumacher suffered a near-fatal head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on December 29 and has been in a medically-induced coma since. His family said at the end of January that drugs used to keep him in his deep sleep were being reduced with the intention of bringing him back to consciousness.The good news comes after weeks of doubt and follows a report that the race car driver's wife, Corinna, was building a $17 million medical/ rehab center inside their $50 million Switzerland mansion."Michael is making progress on his way. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening. We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident," said Kehm.She said no further details would be given out of respect to his family and to "enable the medical team to work in full calmness."Gary Hartstein, a former Formula One doctor, said "awakening" would mean that Schumacher has opened his eyes."This eye opening can even be cyclic," he explained.  "Following what looks just like a sleep-wake cycle (even if not synchronized to real day-night hours)."And he said the "moments of consciousness" meant that Schumacher would have had interaction with his environment.Doctors began the process of gradually awakening him more than nine weeks ago. Now there seems to be real hope."We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident," Kehm said.

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