Sunday Sermon

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Fabrice Muamba collapsed live on TV at The Lane yesterday evening in what has been reported as a ‘cardiac incident’. 

After an excruciating period of physios and medical staff attending him he was stretchered off and it was announced he was rushed to hospital. The scenes were chilling.

Not because he had some class of heart attack – in the UK alone there are about 275,000 heart attacks annually. So they are not uncommon by any stretch – but to witness one in the middle of a game of football is as about as disconcerting as it would be if it were the lady in front of you in the Post Office queue, or the man next to you in the cinema. Naturally there can’t be a ‘right’ place to have a heart attack but the cold reality is we all prefer a mental image of the unfortunate soul having it being in hospital, surrounded by medics and bleeping machines.

Twitter is a brilliant device as it has not only replaced in many ways the traditional news wires but it’s completely inclusive. You don’t need to be a colleague, friend or relation of either a journalist or an eyewitness in order to immediately share in news or opinion.

A good number of people have been gushing at the reaction of the supporters The Lane. A few understandably hesitant rounds of, ‘Fabrice Mauamba’. Since when has doing the right thing, the only thing been something worthy of praise? The crowd at The Lane have to my mind never been a nasty lot, but to celebrate not behaving badly actually made me feel uncomfortable. ‘A big well done for no one shouting out, ‘get up you girl.’

Last year at the time of a tsunami in South East Asia we had the laughable business of ‘#prayforJapan trending simultaneously with the latest Apple tablet. I suggested by Tweet that instead of a prayer, sending an appropriate charity the £400 or whatever the iPad cost would do more good. Maybe those who replied prayed at me and hence I failed to register their disgust.

I do not believe in the power of prayer. That said, I very much believe it’s mean spirited to mock or challenge something harmless that provides anyone with comfort. If a victim’s friends or family need to pray, good luck to them. but it’s fundamentally disingenuous of strangers to Tweet ‘#pray’ for anything. It’s a device to make them feel better about themselves. The effect on the poor sod surrounded by ambulance men or whatever is zero. Zip. Nada.

Hashtagging #pray is actually taking the p*ss. You walk past a homeless guy with a MacDonald’s cup in his hand. Let me break it to you a hashtag isn’t going to do it for him. In the first instance he needs some cash and the second he needs one or more government agencies to do their jobs properly.

What Fabrice and indeed the other 275,000 odd others who suddenly find themselves in the same horrible and terrifying boat is the attention of those genuinely remarkable individuals who have devoted themselves to medicine and  the daily, infinite struggle of furthering human life. 

Organised religion has an unquestionably abysmal history with medicine. It is still virtually impossible in 2012 to put an accurate figure upon how many human beings die annually because they refuse medical attention on religious grounds.  But do be depressingly assured that you would run out of seats at White Hart Lane simply by attempting to accommodate the Jehovah’s Witnesses alone.

One cannot imagine Muamba’s his relatives must feel right now. If you genuinely want to contribute to the well being of your species then pay a bit more attention to what the politicians are up to when it comes to the tired old issue of  healthcare. 

Fabrice Muamba is in our thoughts. Let’s ensure our brains, our votes and our loose change when we have it to give are all contributing on a continuous basis to maintain and improve the quality of medical care we can offer each other.

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  • Razspur says:

    Fabrice our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends.
    Also with every B

  • larrydayid says:

    Horrible experience yesterday – Saw the lads legs jumping as they tried to revive him!! didnt sleep well last night – Praying for Muamba

  • Razspur says:

    Also with every Bolton fan at this time.

  • Hartley says:

    Amen to that…..

  • Mr Pop up says:

    It’s not even been 24 hours and you’re mocking the #pray4muamba hash tag? What is the matter with you, seriously?

    I can understand you do not believe in god and that a hash tag prayer will not help the person in question, but do you not see it’s linked with fans across the globe that are sharing an emotion that has brought everyone together, regardless of their club?

    I think it’s incredibly insensitive to write a blog that quotes statistics on heart attacks and try to pigeon hole the incident that happened yesterday to make it seem ‘just another number’.

    To also blog, or dig at the hash tag within 24 hours is a great shame.

    • Harry Hotspur says:

      Ha. It’s only insensitive to grief vultures like you.

      Hashtags are good fun for mucking about online but heart attacks are the territory of grown ups. Spare me the ‘sharing emotion’ routine… Is that helping the poor guy? No it is not. It’s helping you.

      • mynameisluka says:

        Your superiority complex is shining through harry.
        I thought the fans were brilliant yesterday and only showed concern at a very tragic incident. hashtags or not, fans are entitled to show support, and do so in the most immediate way- via social media…

      • Mr Pop up says:

        Vultures? Please enlighten me on your term ‘vultures’. Do you mean the entire footballing community, people that don’t even watch football, or being part of the human race that has a empathised with the incident? There are millions , Harry, showing their support, regardless of what medium.

        You sound like you’ve got a chip on your shoulder, like you haven’t been helped in the past or you’ve become ‘just a number’.

        • minionas says:

          At what point did you think you weren’t just a number? Only asking not Baiting.

        • david says:

          I thought the fans behaving immpecably was due some praise as in too many cases at a number of grounds, we see fans from all teams behaving without respect and acting like morons.
          Every time we have a minutes silence I shudder at the thought of another idiot shouting out.
          The days when people generally behaved responsibly and properly are long gone and the World is a worse place because of it. Here endeth the lesson.

      • Limerick AL says:

        If some people can attain Hope, A Sense Of Wellbeing from Prayer then this is great. Unfortunately, Prayer will not “Get you your breakfast, or, Stop a Tank”.

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