Muamba ‘forever in debt’ to lifesavers

Fabrice Muamba admits he will “forever be in debt” to the doctors who saved his life after he was released from hospital yesterday, 30 days after being admitted following his horrifying cardiac arrest.

Muamba was rushed to the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green, east London, on March 17 after collapsing on the pitch during Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Doctors revealed afterwards that the 24-year-old’s heart had stopped beating for 78 minutes, but he was eventually stabilised and went on to make a recovery which some described as “miraculous”.

Despite initial worries the midfielder would die, he started talking two days after his collapse and began walking just over a fortnight later.

Yesterday Bolton and the London Chest Hospital announced Muamba had been discharged and released a photograph showing the former England U21 international shaking hands with Dr Andrew Deaner, who, along with his colleague Dr Sam Mohiddin leapt from the crowd at White Hart Lane to help Muamba.

Muamba, who received messages of support from across the world while in hospital, said: “I am naturally very pleased to be discharged from hospital and would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to every single member of staff at the London Chest Hospital who have played a part in my care.

“Their dedication, professionalism and expertise is simply amazing and I will forever be in their debt. I also wish to say thank you to all the many well-wishers who have sent thousands of messages of support.

“Now I am out of hospital, I am looking forward to continuing my recovery and spending precious time with my family.”

Bolton manager Owen Coyle was stunned at watching his midfielder fall flat on to the turf last month, shouting “he’s just collapsed” before running on to the pitch to come to his player’s aid.

The Scot, and other members of Bolton’s coaching and playing staff, visited Muamba on a number of occasions throughout his stay there and was delighted that the former Arsenal man has been discharged.

“It is absolutely fantastic news that Fabrice has been discharged from hospital and everyone at the club is delighted,” he said.

“We would also like to add our thanks to the staff at the London Chest Hospital for their care and treatment of Fabrice, which has been outstanding.

“It is important that Fabrice and his family are now given time and space to be together, and we would ask themedia to continue to respect their privacy.”

The hospital, who were originally inundated with letters and flowers for Muamba, wished the young player a safe and full recovery.

“Barts Health can confirm that Fabrice Muamba has now been discharged following several weeks of treatment,” the hospital said in a statement.

“All our staff wish him the very best in his ongoing recovery.”

Players from Real Madrid and Barcelona gave their support to Muamba during his recovery by wearing ‘get well soon’ t-shirts while leading figures from the game took to Twitter to offer their best wishes in the aftermath of his cardiac arrest.

Yesterday Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden Tweeted “Yesss big Fab :-)))” upon hearing of his team-mate’s release while Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor was elated at the news.

“That is probably the best piece of news we have had in 2012,” Taylor said. “It is a great tribute to the battling qualities that Fabrice obviously has that he has pulled through this.’’

It is not known whether Muamba, who signed for Bolton in 2008, will ever play again. Muamba’s release comes just two days after Livorno player Piermario Morosini died after suffering a suspected heart attack during the Italian club’s Serie B game against Pescara.

Meanwhile Trevor Francis has been discharged from hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack on Friday.

Birmingham Heartlands Hospital confirmed yesterday that the former England striker has been released, with the 57-year-old having recovered well from successful surgery.

A hospital spokesperson said: “Trevor Francis was discharged from Birmingham Heartlands Hospital this afternoon.”

The news comes as welcome relief, not just to Francis’ family but to the footballing world, who have shown their support over the weekend.

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