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.