Muamba collapse sparks memories

Published Monday, 19 March 2012
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The sight of medical teams battling to save the life of Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba re-kindled painful memories for the family of Tyrone GAA star Cormac McAnallen.

Muamba collapse sparks memories
Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba receives CPR treatment on the pitch (© Getty)

Eight years ago, the Gaelic Football All-star winner died suddenly of an undetected heart condition at the age of 24.

His mother Bridget told UTV: "There were definite echoes of when Cormac died, the fact that this man collapsed from a heart condition."

She said the many tributes paid to Muamba and the respect shown from the spectators reminded her of the overwhelming support her family received after Cormac's shock death.

Bridget added: "I was very surprised and pleased to see that, and it reminded me of how Cormac was treated.

"Of course there's one major difference in that the life of this footballer has been saved so far - although we don't know what his state of health is going to be after this - and unfortunately there was no way of saving Cormac that night."

Fabrice Muamba remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital and is continuing to show signs of improvement.

London Chest Hospital and Bolton statement

The McAnallen family set up The Cormac Trust in his memory the year after he died.

Its aims include raising awareness of conditions causing Sudden Cardiac Death in the young, the promotion of cardiac screening to detect such conditions and the provision of defibrillators in sports clubs.

"All together we have donated 80 defibrillators to sports clubs, to leisure centres, to voluntary ambulances, fire stations and lifeboats and so on.

"We had decided from the very beginning that it was very important to raise awareness of these conditions and to call for people to get screened - to try and help people in any way we could to get screened so we've been doing that as well."

Muamba, a 23-year-old father of one, showed signs of improvement on Monday at London Chest Hospital.

"He is now able to breathe independently, without the aid of a ventilator and he is able to recognise family members and respond to questions appropriately. These are positive signs of progress," said the joint statement released by the London Chest Hospital and Bolton on Monday evening.

"However, his condition remains serious and our medical staff in intensive care will continue to monitor and treat him."

© UTV News
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