East Lancashire heart failure charity founder brands Fabrice Muamba’s honorary doctorate 'a sick PR stunt' (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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East Lancashire heart failure charity founder brands Fabrice Muamba’s honorary doctorate 'a sick PR stunt'
12:31pm Saturday 23rd June 2012 in Darwen
THE founder of an East Lancashire heart failure charity has branded footballer Fabrice Muamba’s honorary doctorate from Bolton University “a sick PR stunt”.
But his comments have been slammed by local campaigners and health bosses.
The university has bestowed the honour on the Premier League star, who “died” for 78 minutes after collapsing from a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match, to “celebrate and recognise the work of the teams who rushed to his aid”.
Nick Hartshorne-Evans, 41, from Hapton, who set up Pumping Marvellous after being diagnosed with heart failure after suffering a rare viral infection, has called for the university to retract the doctorate.
He said: “It’s a terrible judgement call and disrespectful and disgraceful.
“There are many people who have survived cardiac arrests and, sadly, many people who have died from a cardiac arrest. All of the people involved in saving their lives, or doing their best to save their lives, are not getting the same honour.
“I have had a 14-year-old girl ring me, who helps me raise aware-ness after she suffered a cardiac arrest when she was 10. She asked where her degree is, and where it is for the teachers who gave first aid and saved her life.
“I’m all for praising people who save lives, but my big concern is that Fabrice Muamba has accepted this award without thinking about the impact.
“What about those who work for the North West Ambulance Service who save lives on a daily basis? I think the award needs to be retracted, or Fabrice Muamba needs to give it back.”
Irene Wickers of Darwen, who raised £150,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young to carry out heart screenings following the death of her son Neil from an undiagnosed cardiac infection, hit back and said the award was “well deserved”.
She said: “I’d say well done to Fabrice. He didn’t wish for this to happen to him, but he’s accepted this on behalf of the medics, and because of his position in the spotlight, has probably done more than we ever could to raise awareness.”
Bolton University Vice Chancellor Dr George Holmes said: “He will receive his honorary doctorate to celebrate and recognise the work of the teams who rushed to his aid.