Stanley defender Toto Nsiala was affected more than most by Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest last Saturday.
The Bolton player collapsed during the FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur and needed emergency treatment on the pitch before being rushed to intensive care at the London Chest Hospital.
The 23-year-old’s condition remains serious, although there has been more positive news in the last few days.
Nsiala, like Muamba, played for DR Congo age group teams and the Everton man said Muamba’s dad Marcel and his own father are good friends.
"I don’t know Fabrice well although I have met him but I know his dad really well," said the 19-year-old centre-back.
"It’s just through playing for Congo and our dads travelling around together.
"I finished our game on Saturday and when I got home and saw that on the news, I was absolutely gutted.
"When I heard his heart wasn’t beating for two hours on its own I was nearly crying.
"I got on the phone to my dad and my dad tried ringing his dad but couldn’t get through.
"I was trying to ring everyone I knew to try and get any news but everyone’s phone was just off or engaged as everyone was trying to to get the hospital. My dad and my uncle have spoken to his dad since and obviously he just said he was absolutely gutted but that they were praying and now he is doing better.
"They said he is speaking French and English again and everyone is just relieved he seems to be recovering. Hopefully, from now on, it’s good news.
"I am going to try and get hold of his dad in the next few days and wish him well.
"Hopefully I will meet Fabrice in the international games in the future."
Stanley’s Peter Murphy was one of three players, along with Bobby Grant, who were found to have heart defects when they were younger.
Murphy, 22, said:¿"We had two screenings as part of an FA¿inititative for youth players when we were 17 and both me and Bobby were found to have holes in our hearts. Mine wasone centimetre and they had to go through a vein to operate. At the time neither of us expected anything to be wrong with us and you only realise how important screening is when you see incidents like Saturday."
Reds boss Paul Cook said:¿"We as a club can only send our best wishes to Fabrice. It’s great to see he’s hopefully on the road to recovery. Unfortunately it happens in football, we’ve seen it with Marc-Vivien Foe and Phil O’Donnell and it’s tragic. Everyone who treated the lad deserves a lot of credit."