Updated: Jan 12
As of late Monday night, The leading safety for the Buffalo Bills, Damar Hamlin, was in critical condition at the UC Medical Center in Cincinnati after abruptly collapsing during the first quarter of an intense play-off clinch against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were leading 7-3 when Hamlin made a tackle against Tee Higgins and fell onto his back, going into sudden cardiac arrest.
The game was suspended and the Bills later released a statement early Tuesday morning stating, “His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment".
On the field, emotional players and coaches surrounded Hamlin, taking a knee in prayer. As trainers and an ambulance made their way to Hamlin, he was resuscitated twice. Doctors later claimed that the automatic defibrillator saved his life.
In response to this tragic event, all 32 NFL franchises expressed their sympathy by switching their profile picture on instagram to a “Pray for Damar” logo. The NFL Players Association also tweeted, “The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well being”.
In a powerful act of sportsmanship, Bengals fans and spectators arrived outside the hospital in Cincinnati late Monday night out of respect for Damar Hamlin and in hopes for his recovery.
As news is spread nationwide about Hamlin’s accident, awareness is raised about the frequent occurence of unexpected cardiac arrest. Doctors claim that cardiac arrest is the largest cause of natural death in the US, resulting in 325,000 adult deaths each year. Damar Hamlin was a healthy, professional football player, free of pre-existing medical conditions, when he suddenly fell to the ground on his back. Doctors are unsure whether or not he will return back to the field.