Fabrice Ndala Muamba is a footballer (soccer player) who plays for the Bolton Wanderers as a midfielder in the English Premier League. He previously played for Arsenal and Birmingham City. Although born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Muamba has represented England at the under-21 level.
Muamba began his career in 2002, joining Arsenal’s youth academy. After three years, he turned professional in 2005. He made his debut for Arsenal in the League Cup, but played only one other professional match for the club. Following a loan spell with Birmingham City, he made the move permanent in 2007. He stayed with Birmingham for one additional year, and left after making more than 70 appearances and making his England under-21 debut while with the team. He joined his present club Bolton Wanderers in 2008, where he has played almost 150 times.
On March 17, 2012, Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during the first half of an FA Cup quarter-final match between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur. After receiving lengthy attention on the soccer field from medical personnel, including a consultant cardiologist who was at the game as a fan, Muamba was taken to the specialist coronary care unit at the London Cest Hospital. Bolton manager Owen Coyle and club captain Kevin Davies accompanied Muamba in the ambulance. The match was abandoned by referee Howard Webb, and Bolton’s next game against Aston Villa, due to be played three days later, was postponed at the club’s request.
Bolton’s club doctor later confirmed that Muamba had received numerous defibrillator shocks, both on the soccer field and in the ambulance, but his heart had stopped for 78 minutes. The player was initially kept under anaesthetic in intensive care. By March 19th, his heart was beating without medication, and he was able to move his limbs, and later that day his condition was described as “serious” rather than “critical.” He was able to recognize family members and respond appropriately to questions. By March 21st, his consultant suggested that Muamba’s progress had “exceeded our expectations” and that although he faced a “lengthy recovery period, normal life [was] within the spectrum of possibility.”