Scottish doctors reach out to global surgeons to treat 9-year-old footballer's freak injury

The promising footballer, who plays for Hearts of Midlothian FC at academy level, was playing against Rangers’ academy when an injury led to him being transferred to hospital for emergency treatment.

A Scottish team of trauma surgeons and cardiac specialists called on international help to treat a nine-year-old footballer heart following a freak injury on the pitch.

Isaiah Muzaale, from Paisley, was playing football when he dislocated his collarbonein such a way it risked his blood vessels and windpipe.

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The promising footballer, who plays for Hearts of Midlothian FC at academy level, was playing against Rangers’ academy when he had an accidental clash with a player and fell to the ground in pain.

Isaiah in hospitalIsaiah in hospital
Isaiah in hospital

His parents rushed him straight to the closest hospital, the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh.

Isaiah’s mum, Kerry Muzaale, said: “When we arrived at the hospital, they gave him an X-ray, but it came back clear.

“Seeing how much pain he was in, the doctors gave him a CT scan and found that he had a dislocation.

“We are so grateful to the team there. They advised that, to repair this, a cardiac team would be needed on standby for the worst-case scenario.”

Isaiah with his brother Elijah in PaisleyIsaiah with his brother Elijah in Paisley
Isaiah with his brother Elijah in Paisley

The Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, is the specialist Cardiac Centre for Children and has other specialist teams that enabled Isaiah to be assessed for the best treatment plan.

“We were then looped in with the Paediatric Major Trauma Coordinators at the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow and advised that we would be transported there for the team to assess and operate on Isaiah,” said Ms Muzaale.

“At Glasgow, he was given an MRI and ultrasound for more detail.

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“His surgeon, Miss Claire Murnaghan, was amazing. Due to the rarity of this accident, Miss Murnaghan reached out globally to surgeons to discuss options and created a surgical plan for Isaiah.

Isaiah Muzaale, 9, playing footballIsaiah Muzaale, 9, playing football
Isaiah Muzaale, 9, playing football

“We’re delighted to say that on Friday, June 14, he had his surgery successfully and was home on the Saturday. He is feeling a lot better.

“The big problem now is getting him to stay still so that he can heal properly.”

Ms Muzaale said the support her family received was invaluable. also explained how invaluable the support that Isaiah and the family received during that week was.

“Thinking that your son has a broken bone is one thing,” she said.

“Learning that he could end up in the intensive care unit is another.

“Thank goodness for the trauma coordinators who were our point of contact throughout our hospital journey. They answered every question and truly looked after us.

“We also cannot believe the support from the football community at academy and first team level. We’ve had video messages from Hearts and St. Mirren, and offers of physio support from team doctors, including from Rangers. We’re overwhelmed with their kindness.”

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Isaiah is on the mend but will require close supervision, no contact sports and physio sessions to get him back on track.

Jenna Hills, Paediatric Major Trauma Coordinator at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow said: “We are delighted to hear that Isaiah is doing well at home. He was so brave during his time with us, and we look forward to hearing when he is back playing football in a few months.

“We have a feeling we’ll see him scoring goals on TV one day.”

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