Fabrice Muamba's is facing a long period of recovery, according to a family released a statement Friday about the Bolton Wanderers midfielder. He suffered a cardiac arrest last week at Tottenham stadium, and was considered dead for 78 minutes.
Muamba's father and fiancé released a joint statement thanking fans, the soccer community, and medical staff for their continuing support.
Muamba remains in intensive care after he collapsed on the field last Saturday at the FA Cup quarterfinal. He was taken to London Chest Hospital, where he was considered dead for 78 minutes. The Premier League club's doctor Jonathan Tobin said it took 15 defibrillator shocks to restart the midfielder's heart.
Even though Fabrice has made great progress over the last couple of days, he is still in intensive care and still has a long period of recovery ahead, said his family in a statement. He has asked that you please keep him in your prayers.
Support from the soccer community has been overwhelming. Players like David Beckham have reached out to the family, while teams like F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid have worn T-shirts pre-games that say Get Well Soon Fabrice, reported the Associated Press.
We have been overwhelmed by all the kind messages we have received, the statement said. The support we have had from the fans - not just from Bolton but football supporters around the world - has given us so much strength.
We have been particularly touched by the support from the football community globally.
Andrew Deaner, a cardiologist at the London hospital said he was surprised by Muamba's rapid recovery.
If I was ever going to use the term miraculous it could be used here. He has made a remarkable recovery so far, he said according to Reuters.
Two hours after (he had regained consciousness) I whispered in his ear, 'What's your name?' and he said, 'Fabrice Muamba'. I said 'I hear you're a really good footballer' and he said 'I try.' I had a tear in my eye.
Muamba began speaking both English and French shortly after he regained consciousness. He also has been moving his arms and legs, but doctors say it's still too early to tell if he will ever play again.
The cause for the 23-year-old's sudden cardiac arrest has not been discovered yet. Doctors said Muamba had a routine screening for heart issues in August. He was retested Sunday and achieved a normal result.
The Bolton Wanderers will play against Blackburn Saturday. Fans in the lower tier of the Nat Lofthouse will create a mosaic for Muamba to show their support. The mosaic will read 'Muamba 6' after his jersey number, according to the BBC.