Club Doctor: Muamba Was 'Dead'

  • March 21, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's club doctor Jonathan Tobin has spoken for the first time since the collapse of Fabrice Muamba.

Wanderers physio Andy Mitchell was first on the scene after Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane last Saturday and Tobin admits the concern written across Mitchell's face was clear to see.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Tobin admits Muamba was 'in effect dead' and his heart did not resume beating until 78 minutes after he collapsed to the ground.

"We were fearing the worse and didn't think we'd get the recovery we had," Tobin said. "It's incredible.

"He (Mitchell) screamed, 'Get on the pitch, get on the pitch'. It was obvious something major was happening.

"It was 48 minutes from when he collapsed to reaching hospital and a further 30 minutes after that. He was, in effect, dead at that time."

Tobin admits he was solely focused on ensuring Muamba reached the hospital, that the seriousness of the situation didn't sink in until staff at the London Chest Hospital had taken over responsibility.

"I went into the corridor and cried. This is Fabrice, not someone who has gone down in the street. I know him, know his family, I joke with him every day."

Tottenham club doctor Shabaaz Mughal also raced on to the pitch and describes Muamba's state as 'unresponsive'.

"He appeared to take a couple of gasps but was then unresponsive," Mughal said.

Among those credited with helping to save Muamba's live is Dr Andrew Deaner, who was watching the game as a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.

Deaner jumped the advertising boards to race to the player's aid and although he believes Muamba's life is no longer in danger, he says it is too early to judge if he will ever return to professional football.

"As soon as I saw them start CPR, something twitched in me," Deaner said.

"You always hope that, if you have a defibrillator and get there quickly, they will respond to at least two or three shocks. The longer the resuscitation, the less the chances of survival. But this is a very fit 23-year-old and those attending him are trained in CPR.

"If I was ever going to use the term miraculous it could be used here. He has made a remarkable recovery so far.

"Two hours after (regaining consciousness) I whispered in his ear, 'What's your name?' and he said, 'Fabrice Muamba'. I said 'I hear you're a really good footballer' and he said 'I try'. I had a tear in my eye.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves but as things stand his life is not in danger at this time.

"It is early days so it is not possible to say (if he'll play again)."

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