Student who collapsed in Scooter’s back on his feet

After going into cardiac arrest during a dance performance Oct. 16 in Scooter’s, freshman Gauthier Biyanga Mubwa has resumed attending St. Thomas.

Since his Oct. 23 release from Regions Hospital, Mubwa has returned to the hospital for checkups and will attend biweekly heart rehabilitation therapy sessions.

“I was really surprised [to collapse],” Mubwa said. “It’s never happened to anyone in my family.”

Unconscious for two days, Mubwa has no recollection of the incident beyond what people tell him and footage of the event.

“[The video] is my only souvenir of what happened,” Mubwa said.

In Mubwa’s week-long absence from St. Thomas, classmates and friends showed their love for Mubwa, leaving messages on a get well banner outside of the international student services office in Murray-Herrick Center. A Facebook group was also created called “Let us pray for Gauthier to get well.”

Mubwa collapsed while participating in an event sponsored by the African Nations Student Association. He has performed in Scooter’s before, without incident.

Freshman Ahmed Al-Dhafeeri hung out with Mubwa the night before and the day of Gauthier’s medical emergency, and noticed no suspicious behavior from Mubwa.

“We were in Scooter’s playing pool,” Al-Dhafeeri said. “He was fine.”

A blood sample was taken from his brother to test for any possible hereditary causes for the heart attack, since Mubwa has no medical history of heart problems. His doctors suggested installing a pacemaker for any future heart attacks that might happen with no one around to assist him.

“I’m still thinking about that,” Mubwa said. “It’s a tough choice.”

Zack Thielke can be reached at