The collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba during a televised soccer match on Saturday was shocking, not least because it was unusual. Very rarely do we see anyone given the kiss of life (or CPR as it is officially known) live on TV, or in front of an audience of thousands.
Thankfully, there are plenty of people around who should be able to respond positively and help anyone who collapses suddenly, as Muamba did. I was taught the lifesaving technique at school, aged 10, and recent advertisements on the TV starring Vinnie Jones should help to encourage others to find out what they need to do, to help anyone who stops breathing.
But was it right to abandon the football match? I expect some to respond that it was the only course of action, as all the fellow players and referee were “traumatised”. Come on – surely, a decade ago, the natural reaction of everyone would have been to carry on with the game, once the poor guy was in the best possible hands and safely on his way to hospital. The more we allow such incidents to interrupt our lives, the weaker as a nation we become.
It’s only human for us all to wish Muamba well, to pray he makes a full recovery and that the medics and football trainers can learn something positive from his collapse.
Heart attacks can strike at any time, and Muamba is at least fighting for his life. Australian medics could not save 34 year old Gary Cornell, who died on Saturday of an apparent heart attack, while performing on stage.