Damar Hamlin Joined by First Responders Who Saved His Life: NFL Awards
Damar Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest during a game last month, gave an emotional speech during the annual NFL Honors on Thursday, and thanked the first responders who saved his life.
Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph introduced the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals athletic training staffs along with University of Cincinnati Health Center medical professionals on the stage at Phoenix Convention Center’s Symphony Hall. As Hamlin joined them, the crowd of NFL players and celebrities gave the Buffalo Bills safety a standing ovation.
“First I would like to just thank God for even being here,” Hamlin began. “Sudden cardiac arrest was nothing I would’ve ever chosen to be a part of my story. But that’s because sometimes, our own visions are too small. My vision was about playing in the NFL and being the best player I could be. But God’s plan was to have a purpose greater than any game in this world.”
“I want to give a special thank you to everyone on this stage for everything they did for me,” he continued. “And thank you to everyone around the world who prayed for me and hoped for me. The journey will continue.”
During a Monday Night Football game in January, the 24-year-old fell to the ground seconds after colliding with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in a tackle during the opening quarter at Paycor Stadium. Medical staff and local paramedics administered CPR to restore Hamlin’s heartbeat before he was transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
The Buffalo Bills safety was released from the hospital one week after the on-field collision. “When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much,” he said in a statement prior to his release. “The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We brung the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me! #3strong”
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