The collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during the Monday Night Football game on January 2nd left players, coaches, and fans in shock. Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals. Medical personnel administered CPR on the field before transporting him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Hamlin’s health status continues to improve daily, though he remains in critical condition in the ICU as of January 7th. Fans worldwide have shown immense support for the 24-year-old player through donations, social media posts, and vigils. Here is everything we know so far about Damar Hamlin’s condition and how you can send well-wishes his way during his recovery.
Overview of Damar Hamlin’s Collapse on the Field
The Tackle Leading to Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest
- Hamlin collapsed shortly after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins at 8:55 pm EST on January 2nd.
- He got to his feet initially but fell backwards moments later and appeared to be unconscious.
- Medical staff rushed onto the field and administered CPR and AED shocks to resuscitate him.
- Hamlin received treatment on field for over 30 minutes before being transported via ambulance to the hospital.
- The game was temporarily suspended before being postponed roughly an hour later.
What Caused Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest?
- Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest, meaning his heart suddenly stopped beating effectively.
- The direct cause is still unknown but commotio cordis is suspected – an arrhythmia caused by a direct blow to the chest area.
- Hard hits in football rarely lead to commotio cordis but it can be fatal without prompt medical attention.
- CPR helped restart Hamlin’s heartbeat until paramedics provided further lifesaving interventions.
Timeline of Damar Hamlin’s Medical Status and Updates from the Bills
Monday January 2nd – Hamlin Transported to Hospital in Critical Condition
- Bills released a statement saying Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and his heartbeat was restored on field.
- He was sedated upon arrival to the hospital and listed in critical condition.
- By early Tuesday, physicians indicated Hamlin was progressing remarkably in his recovery.
Tuesday January 3rd – Signs of Improvement But Remains in ICU
- Bills stated that Hamlin spent the night in ICU under sedation and on a ventilator.
- Doctors noted promising readings but emphasized he remained in critical condition.
- The NFL postponed the Bills-Bengals game indefinitely.
Wednesday January 4th – Awake and Holding Hands with Family
- Physicians described Hamlin as having made “substantial improvement” in the last 24 hours.
- He is awake and has been able to grip hands and communicate via writing.
- Doctors are still monitoring and treating lung damage but see “strong positive signs.”
Thursday January 5th – Breathing Fully on His Own
- Hamlin had his breathing tube removed overnight and spoke to his family and care team.
- He continues to progress remarkably but remains in ICU given the traumatic nature of his injuries.
- Bills players and coaches visited Hamlin in the hospital later that day.
Friday January 6th – Up and Walking Around
- In an emotional press conference, team officials announced Hamlin’s continued improvement.
- He is up walking, speaking normally, and undergoing tests and therapies.
- His neurological function appears intact but they won’t know if there is long-term damage yet.
Saturday January 7th – Making Steady Progress Day to Day
- No major public updates were provided but Hamlin remains in the ICU in critical condition.
- Team officials visited him again and said he continues improving through rest and further testing.
- Fans held vigils and drives outside the hospital showing immense support.
Details on Damar Hamlin’s Football Career and Passion for Community Service
Hamlin was more than just a Bills player – he was a role model dedicated to uplifting his hometown of McKees Rocks, PA. Here’s more on his background:
College Football Career Prior to the NFL Draft
- Damar Hamlin attended the University of Pittsburgh, playing safety for the Panthers.
- He was a standout player, named All-ACC in his junior and senior seasons.
- Hamlin was known for his hard-hitting style of play and leadership skills on the field.
Drafted to the Bills in 2021
- The Bills selected Hamlin 212th overall in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL draft.
- He spent his rookie season as a special teamer but became a starting safety in 2022 following Micah Hyde’s injury.
- Hamlin had been playing remarkably in his first season as a starter prior to his collapse.
Extensive Community Service and The Chasing M’s Foundation
- Since 2020, Hamlin led his own toy drive and generosity campaign called Chasing M’s Foundation.
- Each year, he personally delivered thousands of toys to kids in need in his Pittsburgh hometown.
- Hamlin had plans to deliver another round of gifts on January 7th, showing his dedication despite being hospitalized.
Outpouring of Support for Damar Hamlin’s Recovery
Fans, players, and organizations across the country have united together to uplift Damar Hamlin during his health battle:
- Prayers and Well-Wishes: Countless social posts, videos, and vigils offering prayers and positive thoughts.
- GoFundMe Campaign: Hamlin’s 2020 charity fundraiser has grown to over $7 million from over 200k donors.
- Hospital Vigils: Fans have gathered with candles and Bills jerseys outside the Cincinnati hospital.
- Lights Illuminated: Buildings including Niagara Falls and Cincinnati’s skylines lit up in blue for Hamlin.
- Jersey Sales: Hamlin’s #3 jersey became the top seller across NFL shops as fans show their support.
- Game Postponement: The NFL’s decision to postpone the Bills-Bengals match-up allowed players to process the traumatic event.
- Messages from Athletes: Countless letters and videos from teams across the major leagues backing Hamlin’s recovery.
- Hospital Support: The Bills released a statement praising UC Medical for their life-saving work in Damar’s treatment.
How Fans Can Continue to Support Damar Hamlin During His Hospitalization
If you wish to uplift Damar Hamlin as he powers through his recovery, here are meaningful ways to make a difference:
- Donate to his Chasing M’s Foundation GoFundMe. Hamlin has done amazing charity work that you can contribute to even a small amount.
- Send a get-well message or video. The Bills are collecting social media posts, emails, and videos for Hamlin that they’ll share at the appropriate time.
- Buy merchandise. Purchasing Hamlin’s Bills or Pitt Panthers jersey directly benefits his foundation’s work.
- Support his hometown toy drive. Donate a new toy or funds to the McKees Rocks drive happening soon in Hamlin’s honor.
- Keep him in your thoughts. Continue to keep Damar Hamlin in your prayers, meditations, or positive thinking. Visualize him making a full recovery.
- Write an uplifting letter. Once Hamlin can receive mail, writing a meaningful card or letter could lift his spirits tremendously.
- Highlight his causes. Share information on Hamlin’s community work and foundations via social media to raise awareness.
- Be kind to others. Honor Hamlin’s spirit of generosity through random acts of kindness in your community.
6 Key Questions About Damar Hamlin’s Condition, the Bills Season, and Player Safety
Hamlin’s collapse has raised many questions fans are wondering about. Here are answers to 6 frequently asked questions:
What caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the field?
While the exact cause is still unknown, commotio cordis appears the likely culprit – an arrhythmia triggered by a direct traumatic blow to the chest. Hamlin made a routine looking tackle just before collapsing.
What is his short-term health outlook?
Given the remarkable progress in Hamlin’s first days in the ICU, physicians remain cautiously optimistic. However, it remains too early to know if he avoided permanent damage or an increased risk of future seizures/arrests.
Will Hamlin be able to play football again?
It’s far too soon to speculate on Hamlin resuming his NFL career. His solely focus now is recovering from the trauma and stabilizing his heart function. A return would likely be at least a year away if he receives full clearance.
When will the postponed Bills-Bengals game be completed?
The NFL has made no announcement yet regarding plans to finish the suspended week 17 game that was tied 7-7 in the first quarter when Hamlin collapsed. Multiple options are being discussed behind the scenes.
Could this impact the NFL playoff picture or format?
If the game is cancelled, the AFC may need to revise tie-breaker procedures and re-seeding since Buffalo and Cincinnati are battling for the No. 1 overall seed. But the NFL plans to proceed with the standard playoffs.
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Will this incident lead to changes in player safety policies?
It’s too soon to say but Hamlin’s collapse will likely lead to analysis of policies around medical care and post-trauma protocols. However, major rule changes seem unlikely. The top priority will be supporting players with resources.
The sudden collapse of Damar Hamlin was a frightening reminder of the potential medical risks football players face on the field. While his path to a full recovery remains uncertain, Hamlin has shown remarkable strength so far in the face of this traumatic health challenge. Fans worldwide have united behind him in support, from donations to his foundation to hospital vigils.
We will have to wait for doctors to determine if Hamlin can take the field again safely or maintain his elite athletic abilities long-term after this devastating incident. But his perseverance and the immense outpouring of generosity and kindness on his behalf stands as an inspiring example of the power of human connection. We can only hope Damar Hamlin emerges healthy to continue his passion for uplifting his community and returns to doing what he loves – playing football.