What happened to Bills safety Damar Hamlin on the field at Paycor Stadium could impact young athletes for years to come. That’s because a lawmaker from his home state is filing a bill to make sure others have access to the same type of treatment that saved Hamlin’s life.
Hamlin grew up in Pittsburgh. And Pennsylvania senator Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) said he will file a bill to make sure automated external defibrillators are at every sporting event hosted by a school district within the state.
On Jan. 2, an AED saved Damar Hamlin’s life. The 24-year-old Bills safety collapsed after he tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins during a Monday Night Football telecast. The tackle wasn’t an unusual one by NFL standards. Higgins used his shoulder to push for more yardage. However, the hit impacted Hamlin’s heart. He stood up for three seconds, then fell to the ground. Athletic trainers immediately performed CPR on Hamlin. And fortunately, they also had access to an AED, which they used to shock Hamlin’s heart back into rhythm.
The NFL confirmed that Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. Flynn quoted some significant statistics in his memo that proposed the bill, which would create “Damar’s Law.”
“Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is not only a leading cause of death across the general population in the United States, but also the leading cause of death among student athletes participating in athletic practices and competitions,” Flynn wrote.
“During a recent professional football game, we witnessed the harrowing incident of SCA involving Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, including the immediate response from trainers and medical personnel. Thankfully, we also have seen him make tremendous strides in his recovery.”
Damar Hamlin Was Out of Hospital Within a Week
Doctors placed Hamlin on a respirator. But within two days, the safety was alert. He was able to breathe on his own within five days of the cardiac arrest. And within a week, he was back home in Buffalo.
Hamlin has maintained a low profile since he got back home. He still needed oxygen and doctors are monitoring his heart. However, Hamlin made it to his team’s divisional playoff game against the Bengals last Sunday at Highmark Stadium. He talked to his teammates in the lockerroom before the game. The Bills lost. But fans cheers wildly when they saw Hamlin, along with his family, sitting in a stadium suite.
Earlier this week, Damar Hamlin tweeted: “Thankful for all the GENUINE love, thoughts & prayers from all across the world.. y’all will hear from me soon!”
Meanwhile, the city of Cincinnati honored the healthcare workers who took care of Hamlin. On Thursday, the mayor presented the health providers from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with keys to the city. Plus, the city’s Children’s Hospital received $10,000 worth of toys. Each Christmas since 2020, Damar Hamlin has raised money to give toys to kids in his neighborhood. Fisher Price and Mattel, toy companies that are corporate sponsors with the Bills, sent the toys to thank the city for caring for Hamlin.