What happened to Damar Hamlin?

A recap of the aftermath of the unfortunate events surrounding the injury of Damar Hamlin on January 2nd, and what this means for football.


photo from Fox News

Adrian Ramos, General Editor

During a Monday Night Football game in week 17 of the NFL season, a safety on the Buffalo Bills named Damar Hamlin suddenly collapsed after making a tackle on a player on the opposing team.

Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and medical staff immediately rushed to the field to attend to the laid-out player. He was administered CPR and an automated external defibrillator was used before he was revived on the field before he was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center while remaining in critical condition. This resulted in the game being postponed and eventually canceled, which became controversial because of its effects on the seeding in the AFC playoffs.

Hamlin was treated for a week at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center before he was released to return back home to Buffalo. During his time in Cincinnati, he was in critical condition while in the intensive care unit. They had Hamlin sedated with a breathing tube down his throat to keep his condition stable. The team gave updates throughout the week where they stated on Tuesday afternoon that he remained in critical condition.

The next day on Wednesday there were reports of improvement, but Hamlin was expected to remain under intensive care with a team watching over his health and treating him. This was about when they lowered the level of oxygen needed for Hamlin down to 50% from 100%.

On Thursday, there were more signs of improvement as Hamlin woke up and showed signs of being in good neurological condition. He was still considered critically ill but he was able to move his hands and feet. Hamlin wasn’t able to speak yet but could write to communicate.

When he initially woke up, his first question asked if the Bills had won the game. The doctor then responded to him saying “The answer is yes, Damar, you won. You won the game of life.”

On January 6, that Friday, Hamlin finally had his breathing tube removed and was able to begin speaking to people. He spoke with the team on a call where he was able to tell them “I love you boys.” Hamlin was eventually released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center the following Monday after spending almost an entire week there.

He flew back to Buffalo, where he was transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute. Doctors at the Cincinnati Medical Center said that he made great progress on his recovery being able to walk the unit and eating a normal diet. T

he next Wednesday on January 11, Damar Hamlin was finally discharged from the Buffalo General Medical Center where he was able to return back home with his family after going through a series of medical evaluations.

Damar Hamlin’s injury did a lot for sports and allowed people to unite over one common matter. This was first seen when Bills and Bengals fans that were watching the game that night came together and prayed for Hamlin as a whole group. The NFL did things like specially paint the number “3” on the field to pay tribute towards Hamlin. A lot of teams came out with shirts that said “Pray for Damar” and had a “3” on it.

Players were seen gathering before games to pray for their fellow player. Some of the games had both of the teams gathered together in the middle of the field to give their prayers towards Hamlin. Even players in other sports were showing their support. Donovan Mitchell, an NBA player, gave his prayers towards Damar and his family after his historic 71-point performance.

This unfortunate injury brought the sports community as a whole closer together and made this something bigger than a game. It allowed people to spread love among other sports lovers without the toxic stigma that sports fan bases have gained over the years.

The horrific event that occurred with Damar Hamlin says a lot about the safety of football. There was no foul or illegal hit that was intended to injure anyone, yet a man literally died on the field during the play. Even a routine play during the match can be so harmful to the body that it can cause someone’s heart to stop.

Hamlin’s injury had to occur at a certain point of the heartbeat to cause arrhythmia, which is an irregular beating of the heart. Everyone was fortunate enough that there were trained professionals available to treat him, but what if this were to happen to a young kid at a sporting event where no one was trained for the situation? There could be harsh consequences to putting your body on the line for this game, and we watch it as a form of entertainment. 

The tragic injury of Damar Hamlin has become bigger than the game of football and has become a message to the world about how empowering the unity of a community is. Hamlin brought the NFL as a whole together to remember the love that should come from these sports.