Picking up an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton on Friday, footballer Fabrice Muamba admitted he was still "far away" from a full recovery, but remains hopeful he will be able to resume his career.
The Bolton midfielder was presented with the award to honour both him and the doctors who saved his life when he collapsed with a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham in March.
He was rushed to the London Chest Hospital where medics took 78 minutes to restart his heart, with his eventual recovery described as a miracle.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Muamba said: "I'm getting stronger every day. I'm far away from being back on the football pitch.
"I really, really hope, by the grace of God, that I'll be back on the pitch but I'm just grateful to the university for this doctorate and I receive it on behalf of everybody who helped me to survive the cardiac arrest."