Fabrice Muamba, the soccer player who suffered a cardiac arrest 41 minutes into a game on Saturday, is said to be “showing signs of improvement.”
In a joint statement between his club Bolton Wanderers and the London Chest Hospital, it was revealed the 23-year-old “has been able to recognize family members and respond to questions appropriately.”
It was added that Muamba can “breathe independently” without a ventilator, and that his condition is no longer “critical,” but “serious.” He remains in intensive care.
An earlier statement revealed “he is also moving his arms and legs,” but did warn “Fabrice’s long-term prognosis will remain unclear for some time.”
The defender collapsed on the pitch just before half-time during Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham. He was treated for several agonizing minutes on the field by medics from both clubs, as the crowd alternated between stony silence and loudly chanting Muamba’s name. It was later revealed Muamba’s heart had stopped pumping for two hours.
While his heart is now pumping again without assistance, the prospect of some brain damage remains a worrying concern.
Several fellow players on the field were visibly shaken by the incident, and referee Howard Webb abandoned the game immediately. Since then, messages of support have flooded in from other soccer clubs and thousands of fans. Muamba has been visited in hospital by his club chairman Mark Gartside and manager Owen Coyle.
Muamba’s fiancee, Shauna Magunda, posted on Twitter on Monday evening: “All your prayers are working people thank you so so much. Every prayer makes him stronger.”
In a statement on Bolton’s website, Gartside said:
“The staff at the London Chest Hospital have been nothing short of exceptional and I would like to thank them all at this ongoing critical time. The support we had from Tottenham and our own fans was fantastic – the staff, the fans, the players and the officials at the game – it was unbelievable.”
Here’s the moment Muamba collapsed to the ground during Saturday’s game. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery: