LONDON: Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has relived the dramatic moment he “died” in front of thousands of stunned football fans and described his astonishing recovery as “more than a miracle”.
The Premier League star’s heart stopped beating naturally for 78 minutes after he collapsed unconscious during Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham on March 17. But the practising Christian, 24, stunned doctors with his recovery and was fit enough to walk out of hospital just a month after the ordeal.
In an interview published today in The Sun, Muamba revealed he asked God to protect him before the cup clash, which was abandoned after his collapse.
Muamba said: “Someone up there was watching over me. What happened to me was really more than a miracle. On the morning of the game I prayed with my father and asked God to protect me – and he didn’t let me down. I am walking proof of the power of prayer. For 78 minutes I was dead and even if I lived was expected to have suffered brain damage.
“But I’m very much alive and sitting here talking now. Someone up there was watching over me.”
Muamba said he was feeling “focused”, “sharp” and “particularly fit” in the lead up to the game. But 41 minutes into the first half the player said he started to feel dizzy and began seeing double before collapsing to the turf.
He added: “It wasn’t normal dizziness – it was a kind of surreal feeling like I was running along inside someone else’s body. I had no pain whatsoever. No clutching at my chest or tightness like you see when people have heart attacks in movies. Just an odd feeling that’s impossible to explain. Then I started to see double. It was almost like a dream.
“I just felt myself falling through the air and then felt two big thumps as my head hit the ground in front of me then that was it. Blackness, nothing. I was dead.”
The former England Under-21 international said he had no recollection of the frantic treatment he received on the field or being rushed to the London Chest Hospital. Among those who battled to keep him alive were Dr Andrew Deaner, a cardiologist and Tottenham fan who leapt from his seat in the crowd and rushed on to the pitch.
Muamba, who was unconscious for three days following his collapse, paid treatment to the doctor, saying: “It was pure chance that Dr Deaner was in the crowd that day. I owe him everything. He is the reason I have been able to hold my baby son again and continue my life.”
Muamba, 24, has been recovering with his three-year-old son Joshua and fiancee Shauna Magunday at home after being discharged from the hospital on Monday – almost a month to the day after he suffered the cardiac arrest. It is not yet known if he will return to competitive football.
# # # #