Fabrice Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup tie and was resuscitated on the pitch as his shocked teammates and supporters looked on. This is an event that has shocked the football world, not least because of Fabrice's young age and his high fitness levels. The look of shock and disbelief on the faces of his fellow players was a distressing sight for all that saw this.
Millions of TV viewers watched in horror as he fell to the ground at 6:11pm GMT yesterday in the game between his team, Bolton Wanderers, and Tottenham Hotspur, which was playing at White Hart Lane. He was in cardiac arrest and paramedics were not able to get his heart to work on its own until he reached London Chest Hospital, Bethnal Green. Today, the 23-year-old remains in hospital in a critical condition following his heart attack. He is anesthetized and in Intensive Care.
Bolton Wanderers and London Chest Hospital jointly released a statement, which said, "Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition in intensive care in the Heart Attack Centre at the London Chest Hospital. He was admitted to the hospital yesterday evening after collapsing at White Hart Lane where he sustained a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur. Fabrice received prolonged resuscitation at the ground and on route to the London Chest Hospital where his heart eventually started working. As is normal medical practice, Fabrice remains anesthetized in intensive care and will be for at least 24 hours. His condition continues to be closely monitored by the cardiac specialists at the hospital."
Following this incident, the referee drew a close to the game, which stood at 1-1, in respect for Fabrice Muamba. It is difficult to imagine that any of his teammates would have been able to continue to play after witnessing the collapse of their friend and colleague. This move could have disgruntled fans who had paid good money for their tickets. However, as people relayed the message around the stadium, the fans reaction was to applaud the decision and to chant Muamba's name in a sign of respect for the player. Fans also left messages of support and gifts on the pitch.
It can only be hoped now that Muamba recovers from his terrible ordeal and that the love of his family, friends, teammates and supporters will help him pull through at this difficult time.