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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 20 November, 2014

Muamba’s family: Midfielder faces long recovery

Bolton player’s father and fiancee released a statement thanking fans, football players and medical staff for their support.

Darts fans show their support for the Bolton midfieler at the O2 Arena, Dublin last night.
Darts fans show their support for the Bolton midfieler at the O2 Arena, Dublin last night.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

FABRICE MUAMBA STILL faces “a long period of recovery” after his on-field cardiac arrest despite a surprisingly strong improvement since his collapse, his family said today.

Muamba’s father and fiancee released a statement thanking fans, football players and medical staff for their support.

The player collapsed last Saturday just before halftime of Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham.

The former England u21 international remains in intensive care at London Chest Hospital. Medics worked on him for 78 minutes to get his heart beating on its own. On Monday, he was talking to doctors.

“Even though Fabrice has made great progress over the last couple of days, he is still in intensive care and still has a long period of recovery ahead,” Marcel Muamba and Shauna Magunda said. “He has asked that you please keep him in your prayers.”

Players across Europe have worn T-shirts expressing their support for Muamba, which read “Get Well Soon Fabrice.”

European champions Barcelona are among the clubs making the gesture, while FIFA President Sepp Blatter has spoken with Bolton’s chairman and asked to be kept informed of Muamba’s progress.

“We have been overwhelmed by all the kind messages we have received,” the statement said. “The support we have had from the fans — not just from Bolton but football supporters around the world — has given us so much strength.

“We have been particularly touched by the support from the football community globally.”

Medics tried to revive Muamba for 48 minutes before he arrived at the east London hospital. Bolton team doctor Jonathan Tobin said it took another 30 minutes, after 15 shocks from a defibrillator, before the player’s heart started beating again on its own. The cause of the cardiac arrest has not been discovered. Doctors said that Muamba had undergone a routine screening for heart defects in August. He was checked again Sunday, with the test producing a normal result.

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