MIRACLE man Fabrice Muamba is often looked upon as a poster boy for the life-saving benefits of specialist hospitals.
Now, the Bolton News has launched the Best of Health for Bolton campaign to urge people to rally behind the Royal Bolton in its fight to become a “super” hospital.
As part of our campaign, we will be looking at examples where specialist centres have saved lives.
The former Bolton Wanderers midfielder is often cited as a case for change by health chiefs after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch at White Hart Lane in London, in March 2012.
Ambulance crews trying to keep Fabrice alive reportedly drove past hospitals nearest the Tottenham Hotspur ground to get him to the London Chest Hospital under the advice of off-duty cardiologist Andrew Deaner, who was watching the match that day.
His wife Shauna says that critical decision helped save the midfielder’s life and led to his amazing recovery.
Mrs Muamba said: “We know that Fab was driven past at least one hospital to get to the London Chest Hospital thanks to the advice of Dr Deaner.
“We were told afterwards that had it not been for that decision to take him to that hospital, Fab’s chances of survival would have been greatly reduced.”
It later emerged that the former midfielder’s heart had stopped beating for 78 minutes and he had 16 shocks from a defibrillator.
Muamba then received round-the-clock care for more than a month under the care of consultant cardiologist Dr Sam Mohiddin — who is now a close family friend.
Mrs Muamba, aged 29, added: “The staff and care he received there was amazing. I’m not a cardiologist but the equipment at the hospital was state-of-the-art.
“I am still extremely grateful that we were in London that day and had access to that specialist hospital.
“The care we had there was amazing and Dr Mohiddin is a close family friend now. He even came to our wedding.”
The Healthier Together consultation is expected to be approved by NHS England in July.
Under the bid, bosses at the Royal Bolton say they will invest in the accident and emergency department, as well as maternity, children and obstetrics.
It is the biggest change to the NHS in decades.
The public will be encouraged to decide where they want the five specialist centres to be based in Greater Manchester.