Surviving Near-Death Experience, Damar Hamlin Teams Up with American Heart Association

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Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin in the hospital with family.
Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin posted this photo on his Twitter account. Damar Hamlin via Twitter

The January 2, 2023, Monday Night Football matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills took an unexpected turn when 24-year-old safety Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills experienced a significant life-changing event. Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Seconds after making the tackle Hamlin got up and attempted to take a step before abruptly collapsing. Hamlin wouldn’t be here today without the life-saving nine minutes of CPR and defibrillation he received from the trained medical staff after his heart stopped.

Damar Hamlin Collapses After Hit vs Bengals

Cardiac arrest claims the lives of 350,000 Americans a year. Months after being resuscitated twice he finally revealed the cause of what made him go into cardiac arrest. Hamlin stated that he suffered from commotio cordis. So what is commotio cordis and cardiac arrest? Commotio cordis occurs when you suffer a sudden blow to the chest resulting in a disturbance to your heart’s rhythm leading to cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function due to the heart’s electrical system malfunctioning. For the best chance of survival, early intervention of CPR and defibrillation is crucial.

Damar Hamlin’s situation could have had a drastically different outcome. After cheating death Hamlin is partnering with the American Heart Association to bring awareness to the importance of CPR training and heart health. You can support Damar Hamlin’s “#3ForHeart CPR Challenge” by clicking the link below. The challenge provides resources to educate yourself on CPR training, how to donate, and spread awareness.

Damar is not the only one getting busy with the American Heart Association. The Buffalo Bills are also joining forces with the organization to provide education and resources to Buffalo and Western New York. The Bills have a 5-year partnership with the American Heart Association.

Over the next five years, the Buffalo Bills strive to increase bystander CPR through community empowerment events, as early intervention has been shown to triple the chance of surviving cardiac arrest. The Bills will also focus on youth coach CPR education by donating 200 CPR and first aid kits to the Western New York community.. Each kit can train 300 people a year leading to a five-year goal to train and educate 180,000 people on CPR and AED education.

Damar Hamlin’s story has brought significant awareness to cardiac arrest, heart health, and why CPR education is crucial in our communities. Hamlin is still recovering and plans to return to the Buffalo Bills for the 2023 season. If you are looking for resources for education on cardiac arrest, CPR training, and how to get involved you can visit the links below.


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