Hamlin recovering from collapse

NFL player remains in intensive care after suffering cardiac arrest mid-game



Buffalo Bills players look on after teammate Damar Hamlin (3) collapsed on the field after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images/TNS)

Story by Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor

On Jan. 2, 2023 Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, ran up to his family before the beginning of their Monday Night Football game, as he does before every game, to grab a quick hug and a picture, full of life and energy ready to compete for the top conference playoff seed.

Less than hour later, he lays unresponsive, receiving CPR, while the rest of the stadium looks on helplessly. 

Minutes into their game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Hamlin made a regular, one might even say routine, tackle on Tee Higgins of the Bengals. After rising and taking a few steps, Hamlin collapsed, and the referees stopped the clock with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter. 

Hamlin was resuscitated once on the field, and remained unconscious. An ambulance arrived on the turf, and before leaving, security got his mother from the stands to ride with him to the hospital.

CNN released a statement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. 

Not only are the lights on, but he’s home.

— Dr. Timothy Pritts

“Damar was promptly resuscitated by on-site club physicians and independent medical personnel, all of whom are highly trained in implementing the plans for medical emergencies”

Hamlin was transported to the Cincinnati Medical Center, a Level One trauma center, and it was later released by the Bills that Damar suffered cardiac arrest, sudden, loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness. 

According to CNN, NFL Vice President Troy Vincent released the following statement: 

“I’ve never seen anything like it since I’ve been playing, so, immediately, my player hat went on. How do you resume play after you’ve seen such a traumatic event occur in front of you in real-time?”

The NFL announced through ESPN just after 10 p.m. that the game would be postponed. 

Damar woke up after being sedated for a few days, and wrote three words on a slip of paper: ” Did we win?”

One of Hamlin’s doctors, Dr. Timothy Pritts, steered away from football, telling Damar he “won the game of life”.

Hamlin remains in intensive care at the Cincinnati Medical Center, but is showing signs of improvement as his health care team continues treatment.

Fans gathered outside of Damar’s hospital on Tuesday, Jan. 3, to have a moment of silence for Hamlin at 8:55 p.m., the time of the injury the prior night. 

The nation banded together amid Damar’s incident in sending thoughts and prayers to both the Bills and Bengals organizations; Damar’s family, friends and teammates; and, most importantly, Damar himself.

Buffalo Bills Head Coach, Sean McDermott, told CNN reporters that doctors removed Damar’s breathing tube, and he made a FaceTime call to his teammates, telling them he loved them.

While he still remains in intensive care, Damar Hamlin is progressing in ways that have lifted weights off of the shoulders of everyone around him.