Fabrice Muamba on being dead for 78 minutes: It was ‘blackness’
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba is now back home after collapsing from a cardiac arrest during a match last month that left him effectively dead for 78 minutes.
The 24-year-old former star for England’s U-21 team crashed to the pitch at the 41st minute of an FA Cup match against Tottenham. The incident left him briefly in a coma and hospitalized for 40 days. His remarkable recovery has surprised even his own doctors. In an interview with The Sun, his first public comments since collapsing, he recalls in chilling detail the frightening and “surreal” moments when his heart stopped.
“I ran upfield to try to get on the end of a cross from Martin Petrov on our left wing and as I ran back into midfield I felt very slightly dizzy,” Muamba said. “It wasn’t normal dizziness — it was a kind of surreal feeling like I was running along inside someone else’s body. It’s hard to explain. … Then I made another burst forward and noticed it again — that dizzy feeling again. But then my vision started to go.
“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 felt almost like a dream. There was no one anywhere near me when I started to feel myself falling. The last thing I heard was our defender Dedryck Boyata screaming at me to get back to help out in defense. … He obviously had no idea what was happening to me and neither had I.
“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.”
Whoa. Now that is deep. It’s an interesting contrast to the stories of “white lights” or out-of-body experiences we hear from other individuals who have temporarily been dead.
Muamba, a devout Christian, credits praying for God’s protection and the ambitious work of his doctors for being able to see his family, including his fiancee, Shauna, and three-year-old son, Joshua, again.
Muamba singled out Dr. Andrew Deaner, the cardiologist who was in attendance for the match and jumped from the stands to assist in resuscitation efforts. Deaner was also one of the doctors who monitored Muamba’s recovery.
“I owe him everything,” Mumaba said. “He is the reason I have been able to hold my baby son again and continue my life.”
While Muamba’s soccer future remains uncertain, right now that doesn’t seem as important as being able to watch his son grow up.
H/T LBS reader Manny
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons