“Twitter Was My Lifeline” – Shauna Muamba

Three years ago, Fabrice Muamba, a talented, 24-year-old footballer playing for Bolton Wanderers, suffered a massive cardiac arrest 41 minutes into a televised FA Cup game between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur. In front of 35,000 people at the ground and millions of viewers worldwide, medics, club physios, and cardiology consultant Dr Andrew Deaner – who’d been in the crowd – battled for eight minutes to restart Fabrice’s heart, before racing him off down the tunnel on a stretcher to hospital.

When Shauna arrived at the hospital, Fabrice was in a coma. During those first dark days, Shauna turned to her religious faith for strength. But another, more surprising, outlet provided her with extra support. Social media became Shauna’s connection to the outside world, helping her to communicate and draw enormous comfort from the thousands of concerned well-wishers on Twitter.

“Social media was the only access we had with the outside world at the time,” she says. “I couldn’t do interviews – or rather I refused to do them because Fabrice was in a coma – so it was my way of communicating with the world. It really helped us to tell people what was happening, and to reinforce the positivity that everyone was sending us in those early days.”

To read more about Fabrice and Shauna Muamba’s story, download the free Child Internet Safety Magazine.