Damar Hamlin


Anna Jackson

Anna Jackson

Jan. 12, 2023


On January 2, 23 million people were watching Monday Night Football, the Bengals vs the Buffalo Bills. This is a record-breaking number of ESPN viewers but not for the right reasons. 

Damar Hamlin was racing down the field after the Bengals receiver Tim Higgins, more of Damar’s teammates swarmed around them, and Damar leaped forward tackling the receiver to the ground. He jumped up to celebrate the victory with his teammates and immediately collapsed. 

Medical teams rushed out to the field, and the two teams formed a circle around Damar for privacy. Medical teams gave him CPR for nine minutes trying to get his breathing back while others shocked him with a defibrillator. Eventually, his heart evened back to its normal rhythm and after he was stabilized, was rushed off the field to a local hospital, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

He was hooked up to a ventilator and monitored closely for days, still unconscious and sedated; he knew nothing of what happened following his departure from the field. 

Out of respect for what might happen to Damar, they postponed the game and everyone left the stadium. Hundreds of people wrote get-well cards and millions more anxiously monitored the news waiting for updates.

Hamlin’s toy charity flew far above his goal of $2,500, to 7 million in a matter of days.

However, many were wondering, why did Damar Hamlin get so much attention when there have been hundreds of football injuries just in 2022.

 For many, recollection of what happened nearly 50 years ago came back to haunt them. Chuck Hughes. The only NFL player to die on the field. As he was walking back to huddle with his team he collapsed and never stood back up. 

Many speculate that the reason Hamlin’s injury was such big news was that so many people were watching it happen, while most injuries take time to develop.

While he got famous for his drastic injury he is so much more than that. He was the top football player in Pennsylvania, so naturally, he was recruited by tons of top colleges. However, he rejected all of them and accepted the University of Pittsburgh so he could stay close to home and be a role model for his younger brother. As Hamlin stated, “I wanted to give him that image of growing up,”

After a few days in the hospital, doctors speculated that Hamlin suffered from a cardiac arrest, however, the cause is still unknown.

Then, 2 days later Hamlin opened his eyes. He was not able to talk, but he was communicating through writing. The first thing he asked was, “Did we win the game?” the doctors responded,, “Yes you did, you won the game of life.”

On January 8 he posted a picture of himself sitting up in bed making a heart with his hands. He captioned it, “It’s GameDay & There’s Nothing I Want More Than To Be Running Out That Tunnel With My Brothers.” 

He was moved to a hospital a little closer to home and is expected to make a full recovery. However the doctors say it is still unclear when he can play again, we are all thankful for such a quick comeback.