DR ANDREW Deaner, the cardiologist and Tottenham Hotspur supporter who leapt from his seat in the crowd and rushed on to the pitch to help Fabrice Muamba after the Bolton midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie at White Hart Lane on Saturday, has described the player's recovery as "miraculous".
Dr Andrew Deaner described Muamba's recovery as "miraculous" after he was effectively brought back from the dead after the player's heart had stopped for over an hour.
"If you're going to use the term miraculous, I guess it could be used here," said Dr Deaner.
Muamba, 23, remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital where he had been in a critical state since Saturday evening. However, early signs of a recovery continue and the footballer on Monday night told Bolton's team doctor Jonathan Tobin he was "fine".
Dr Jonathan Tobin, who visited Muamba on Monday evening, said: "I'm glad to say that the early signs of recovery have continued. I went to see Fabrice last night. I went in and he said 'Hi, doc.'
"I asked him how he was and he said 'Fine'."
Dr Tobin said the player had asked him what had happened.
"I explained to him what had happened," he said. "That's the sort of level of communication I have had with Fabrice."
It took 15 shocks to get the player's heart started after he collapsed, he said.
Speaking at the hospital in Bethnal Green, east London, he told of his reaction when he first realised the player was in trouble.
Going through his head was the thought "Oh my God, it's Fabrice", he said.
He described how a paramedic had held his hips as he stood in the ambulance trying to treat the footballer on the way to the hospital.
Medics worked on Muamba for 48 minutes between his collapse and arrival at the hospital, Dr Tobin said.
At the hospital, doctors worked on him for another 30 minutes before his heart started beating again.
"In effect, he was dead in that time," Dr Tobin said.
He admitted he broke down in tears in the hospital corridor when the seriousness of what had happened to the player hit home - and added that he had feared the worst.
Dr Deaner added that he had visited Muamba in hospital after he had woken up and said that the player was able to make a joke. "I whispered into his ear 'What's your name?'," he said.
Muamba, Dr Deaner said, replied: "I said 'I understand you're a very good footballer'. And he said 'I try'."