Fabrice Muamba, the super fit Congolese footballer who plays for Bolton, has come home from hospital and been reunited with his fiancée, Shauna, and 3 year old little boy, Joshua. Many people around the world share their joy that Fabrice is alive and well. On 17 March Fabrice suddenly collapsed during an FA Cup match between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur. His heart stopped for 78 minutes.
His life was saved by Dr Andrew Deaner, a cardiologist and Tottenham fan, who rushed from his seat in the stand to help. Dr Deaner organised paramedics resuscitating him, then insisted he was rushed directly to the London Chest Hospital for the best possible specialist care. It took 15 defibrillator shocks from paramedics, 2 on the pitch and 13 in the ambulance, to bring him back to life. Fabrice said, “I owe him everything. He is the reason I have been able to hold my son again and continue my life. I would not be alive today if he’d not been at the game.”
Fabrice is a Christian and has spoken about his faith in God, “I am walking proof of the power of prayer. For 78 minutes I was dead and, even if I lived, was expected to have suffered brain damage. But I’m very much alive and sitting here talking now. On the morning of the game I prayed with my father and asked God to protect me, and he didn’t let me down.”
Fabrice’s father, Marcel, came to Britain from Congo in 1994 during the terrible civil war which claimed 4 million lives. While Fabrice lay unconscious in hospital his father prayed for him. Marcel said, “I was obviously very concerned that Fabrice would not make it, but our faith is very strong and I really believed God would answer my prayer to save him. Somehow I just knew Fabrice would be safe in God’s hands. I said to God, ‘You are the one who resurrected Lazarus from the dead. Now in this moment glorify yourself.’
Many Congolese people have suffered greatly and are very poor because of the civil war. Congolese people follow premiership football, and especially Fabrice, who is one of their heroes. He has achieved success and is rich. His true riches, however, are found in his relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus has truly been glorified by the remarkable recovery Fabrice has made and we rejoice with him and his family.