We were all sad when Fabrice Muamba announced his retirement from football. The young midfielder was really just coming into his own, when he suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch at White Hart Lane. However, as all fans will attest, we are simply happy to have him alive and healthy, and we are thankful to the medical advances and professionals that enabled this. One of the many surgeries Muamba had after the collapse inserted an internal defibrillator into his chest. This may have saved his life, a second time.
While on holiday in France over the summer, Muamba's heart started beating in an irregular rhythm, which could've been a precursor to another arrest. The machine, described as a tiny "paramedic implanted inside you", detected the rhythm and monitored it. In the end, no jolt was necessary and his heart returned to normal.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Fab confessed,
It was a little shock which caught me off-guard. Everything calmed down very slowly. When I sat down and thought about it, I thought: 'At least it is working!'
Since his quite literal brush with dead (he was officially "dead" for 78 minutes), Muamba has been campaigning for various heart health charities throughout Britain. His latest campaign, called Hearts and Goals, is a collaboration with the Arrhythmia Alliance , North West Ambulance Service and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust. The aim of the project is to ensure "AEDs [automatic external defibrillators] become as commonplace as fire extinguishers."
Sudden cardiac arrests took the lives from over 100,000 people in Britain just last year. AEDs are fully automated and give instructions to the user every step of the way, meaning even children as young as 6 can be taught to use them. The campaign wants to put at least 500 public access AEDs in communities throughout Britain, give at least 200 people first-aid, and emergency CPR and defibrillator training, and to teach people how to check their own pulse for irregularities.
We are so thankful that Fabrice Muamba had access to timely and competent care, and it certainly saved his life. It's fantastic that he is using his place in the spotlight to ensure that others are as lucky as he is. For more information on the campaign, please visit this site. To request an AED in your area, donate, or apply for training, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1789 450 787