UK & World News
Fabrice Muamba Talks Of Second Heart Scare
Former Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie, has told Sky News he recently had another heart scare.
In an exclusive interview, he revealed his heart started beating abnormally while in France over the summer.
The mini-defibrillator implanted in his chest monitored the rapid rhythm, but his heart returned to normal before an electric jolt was needed.
But he said the episode had been a surprise - and left him grateful for having the device.
"It was a little shock which caught me off-guard.†Everything calmed down very slowly," he explained.
"When I sat down and thought about it, I thought: 'At least it is working!'"
Muamba was fitted with the matchbox-sized device in March after collapsing on the pitch during the quarter-final match against Tottenham.
Doctors say he was "in effect dead" for 78 minutes. After 15 shocks with an external defibrillator, medics eventually managed to restart his heart.
Muamba is now backing a new campaign by the Arrhythmia Alliance , North West Ambulance Serivce and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust to install wall cabinets containing defibrillators in public areas such football grounds, and outside pubs, churches and community centres.
"If there was no defibrillator and no people to use it, it would have been a different story for me," he said.
"We want to raise awareness and hopefully somebody can be saved."
The Arrhythmia Alliance hopes to install 500 defibrillators in the Bolton area this year as part of its Hearts And Goals campaign. Eventually it hopes defibrillators will be on every high street in the country.
Charity founder Trudie Lobban said 100,000 people a year in Britain die from cardiac arrest - but quick use of a defibrillator increases the chances of surviving from 5% to 50%.
"Defibrillators should be available 24/7 up and down the country. To save someone you have less than eight minutes. Ideally it's four. So these must be easy accessible.
"The machines are fully automated and can be used by the public. They talk you through everything. In Italy, children as young as six are being taught how to use them."
Muamba's internal defibrillator was implanted by Professor Richard Schilling at Barts Health NHS Trust.
Prof Schilling said the device is "like having a paramedic implanted inside you".
"It will detect a dangerous, chaotic rhythm and deliver electrical pacing, or a shock to reset the heart," he said.
"The patient will have the cardiac arrest and recover immediately. Many don't even lose consciousness because the heart has not stopped for long enough."
But he warned few patients would even reach hospital unless more external defibrillators are available in public areas.
Muamba will marry his long-term girlfriend Shauna Magunda later this month.
He said: "Physically I am in great condition. I am feeling much stronger. I'm getting better every day."