I never thought there would be another major death on the pitch after Antonio Puerta (RIP) of Sevilla FC collapsed during a game in 2008. I was proven wrong this week.
During an FA Cup match between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur on March 17th, Fabrice Mumba collapsed from a cardiac arrest in the 41st minute. The medics immediately came to him and kept pumping his heart, trying to get it to work. He was transported to a nearby hospital and was treated there, until his heart finally started beating on its own. He's still recovering in hospital.
The match was abandoned and rescheduled.
What a scary moment this was for the world of soccer. It has happened before, but like every other sudden incident, it doesn't come with a warning, and it's uncontrollable. We expect every player to be perfectly healthy and working as they should, and that's what Muamba did, but I guess there were consequences.
In a National Post article from today, the doctors say that Muamba was dead for over an hour, until his heart pumped on its own again. But thankfully the doctors kept pumping his heart and supplying oxygen to him while he was being treated, so that brain death was prevented (Brain death occurs after 4-6 minutes without oxygen supply). It shows how serious medical training is and what miracles it can accomplish.
And I think I can say that Muamba was one of these miracles. Bless him and his family. Hope to see you on the pitch again soon.