Speaking for the first time since his astonishing recovery from his cardiac arrest, Fabrice Muamba said: “I am walking proof of the power of prayer. For 78 minutes I was dead and even if I lived I was expected to have suffered brain damage.” Brave Fabrice Muamba has told how he asked God to protect him just hours before he was struck down by the heart attack that left him “dead” for 78 minutes.
The Bolton and England Under-21 star, who collapsed during his team’s FA Cup match with Tottenham on March 17, prayed with his father Marcel ahead of the game. His heart stopped for 78 minutes, forcing the game to be postponed while he was rushed to hospital. Now he says that he believes it was God who saved him.
He said “…I’m very much alive … Someone up there was watching over me. On the morning of the game I prayed with my father and asked God to protect me – and he didn’t let me down.” Fabrice,24, “died” after collapsing as millions watched the match on TV; he spent 40 days in hospital. Just before he collapsed, Fabrice said, he remembered feeling dizzy and faint as he ran back from midfield and started having double vision. He said: “I could see Spurs players running around in the distance and saw two Scott Parkers then two Luca Modrics. That was when I realised something was seriously wrong. Then I just felt myself falling through the air, then felt two big thumps as my head hit the ground in front of me, then that was it. Blackness, nothing. I was dead.”
Fabrice praised the work of Dr Andrew Deaner – a Tottenham fan – who rushed on to the pitch to help. When his son Josh, three, came to see him for the first time at the London Chest Hospital after his miraculous recovery, Fabrice held him in his arms and fought back tears. “I cuddled him close and told him how much I loved him and how much I missed him and it was a wonderful moment,” said Fabrice.
Now Fabrice is looking forward to watching his son grow up. He is also hoping to play football again “I hope that will happen, but it’s even greater just to live life and love my family. I’m a lucky man.” Fabrice had an emotional reunion with players and 28,000 fans at Bolton’s home game on the 2nd of May at the Reebok stadium. The midfielder, who lives with fiancée Shauna Magunda, 27, now has a defibrillator in his chest to shock him back to life if his heart stops again.