Fabrice Muamba has a long road ahead to a recovery but he's conscious and communicative as per reports from the hospital and those close to him. That in itself is nothing short of miraculous for someone whose heart stopped beating for close to 120 minutes. It took medics about 15 shocks and about 80 minutes of CPR to get his heart beating again.
In all of this Bolton decided to suspend their Premier League season as the health of Muamba over rode any other concern. His father Marcel and fiance Shauna kept a constant vigil over the player. With Muamba now showing stabilizing vital signs, Owen Coyle consulted both of them and it was agreed that Bolton would resume their campaign against Blackburn this weekend.
Easier said than done. It's been just a week, although for many an agonizing eternity passed since Muamba's collapse on the pitch. His Bolton team mates will feel his absence keenly and Coyle has to play shrink to get his players thoughts back on the rest of the season. Bolton are firmly in the relegation zone. Coyle's task is made easier because in Kevin Davies he has a captain who has risen to extra-ordinary heights in this ordeal.
The midfielder who is as tough as nails on the pitch showed leadership and compassion in equal measure and will be the person Coyle turns to keep his players focused on the match. Davies spent Saturday night in the hospital bedside with Muamba and his presence was invaluable in rallying the footballing community and uniting them. So far it appears every player wants to play the match against Blackburn. Coyle on the season ahead:
"There comes a point that we have to play our games and move forward."
The fans are playing their part keeping Muamba in their thoughts and at the same time rooting for their team to win one for their stricken comrade. They will display a mosaic bearing the words Muamba 6 before kick off in a show of support.
One thing is certain. Bolton maybe bottom dwellers in the table but they came out tops in their magnificent response. And so too Spurs who are also going through some recent stick. Their quick witted medics with the proper equipment and timely intervention, increased Muamba's odds to recover. In India, a footballer tragically died of a cardiac arrest on the pitch just this week with no trained medics or equipment to save his life.
Muamba's father and fiance have been inundated with messages of support from fans and the footballing community.
"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. "
Take a bow medics and good on ye, football fans of the world.