MUAMBA HAILS LIFE-SAVING DOCTORS
Fabrice Muamba admitted he will "forever be in debt" to the doctors who saved his life after he was on Monday released from hospital, 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.
On Monday Bolton and the London Chest Hospital announced that Muamba had been discharged and released a photograph showing the former England Under-21 international shaking hands with Dr Andrew Deaner, who leapt from the crowd at White Hart Lane to help Muamba, and his colleague Dr Sam Mohiddin.
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 the media 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.
On Monday 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 told Press Association Sport
"Everyone is very grateful for the way the staff of both clubs dealt with it and the way that the hospital have treated Fabrice.
"It is a great tribute to the battling qualities that Fabrice obviously has that he has pulled through this.
"Watching the game, like everyone, I feared the worst. With everyone that was praying for him at the time in the football world and beyond, you have to believe the power of prayer has had an effect."
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.
Muamba's condition will continue to be closely monitored.
Coyle said on Sky Sports News on Monday evening: "It's the news we were all hoping for, it shows you his continued improvement.
"I have to stress it's obviously subject to continued monitoring and what it will allow over the next few days is Shauna his fiancee, his father Marcel and Joshua his little son to have some family time with him as well.
"It is subject to continued monitoring, but it will give some time and space for Fabrice to continue that recovery."
He added: "Knowing Fabrice, he'll want to be back the way he was prior to the incident and that's what we all want for him."
Fabrice Muamba Factfile:
1988: Born April 6 in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).
1999: Moves to England at the age of 11, reuniting with his father who had earlier sought political asylum in the country due to civil war in his homeland.
2002: Joins the youth team set-up at Arsenal - the club he supported as a boy in his homeland - before graduating to their Academy two years later.
2005: Signs professional terms at Arsenal and makes the first of two first-team appearances for the club - both in the League Cup - against Sunderland on October 25.
2006: August - Joins Birmingham on a season-long loan and goes on to make 36 appearances on his way to winning the club's young player of the year award.
2007: May 11 - Makes his move to Birmingham permanent after the club agrees a reported £4million fee with Arsenal.
2007: August 21 - After representing England at every age level from Under-16s, Muamba is handed his England Under-21 debut in a friendly against Romania.
2008: June - Scores two goals in 37 league appearances in the 2007/08 season but cannot prevent Birmingham's relegation.
August 7 - Signs for Bolton after the Trotters agree a fee in excess of £5million with Birmingham for the midfielder.
2010: August 10 - Signs a new four-year contract at Bolton, committing him to the club until 2014.
2011: June - Represents England Under-21s at the European Championships in Denmark.
August 13 - Scores his third league goal for Bolton in his side's season-opening 4-0 demolition of QPR.
2012: March 17 - Muamba collapses in the 41st minute of Bolton's FA Cup tie with Tottenham at White Hart Line. He receives emergency treatment on the pitch and the match is subsequently abandoned. Bolton later confirm that Muamba is "critically ill" in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital.
March 19 - A Barts and the London NHS Trust statement confirms Muamba is showing signs of improvement and his heart is beating without the aid of medication. Bolton later announce Muamba has been able to recognise family members and respond to questions.
March 30 - Further signs of Muamba's improvement come when he is pictured for the first time since collapsing. In a message posted on Twitter by his girlfriend Shauna, Muamba is shown sitting up in his hospital bed and smiling.
April 16 - Muamba is discharged from the London Chest Hospital.
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