Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba did not respond to 15 defibrillator shocks and was in effect dead for 78 minutes before his heart started beating again, doctors who treated him have revealed.
The 23-year-old has improved significantly since suffering a cardiac arrest during an English FA Cup match last Saturday but is still in intensive care with his condition described as serious.
Muamba is responding appropriately to questions though, speaking in both French and English, and has been joking with some of his many visitors.
What we've learned since is somehow even more amazing. A cardiologist and Tottenham fan, Andrew Deaner of the London Chest Hospital (the doctor in the video up top), leaped from the stands and assisted with CPR. Medical personnel, including both team's doctors, shocked Muamba's heart twice on the field and at least a dozen more times in the ambulance, which because of Deaner, took Muamba straight to the best cardiac hospital in London. Fabrice Maumba, according to Bolton's club doctor was "in effect dead" for 78 minutes.
Two hours after he regained consciousness, Deaner asked him "What's your name?" And Muamba replied, "Fabrice Muamba." Deaner then said, "I hear you're a really good footballer." And Muamba, somehow, said, "I try."
That Fabrice Muamba is alive after being "dead" for 78 minutes is incredible. That he could joke with one of the many doctors who helped save his life two hours after regaining consciousness is even more incredible. Saturday was one of those rare, awful moments when sports collides with life, or in this case, death. We don't know what caused Muamba's cardiac arrest, and we don't know how long and how complete his recovery will be. We also don't know if he will ever play soccer again, but after a day like Saturday and a week like this one, it seems to trivial to think about. We, along with many others, wish him the best.
Off topic slightly... Stiliyan Petrov, the Aston Villa captain, has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. I don't think the type has been confirmed, but hopefully it is ALL as it is the most treatable form.