Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, 24, suffered CARDIAC ARREST after crunching tackle

Damar Hamlin remains in a critical condition in hospital but his vitals are ‘back to normal’ after he suffered a cardiac arrest during the Buffalo Bills’ game in Cincinnati last night.

In a chilling scene, Hamlin, 24, was administered CPR on the field while surrounded by teammates, some of them in tears, as they shielded him from public view.

He was rushed to hospital with his mother Nina by his side, and a family representative has now revealed the latest on his condition.

First taking to Twitter, his friend and marketing rep Jordon Rooney said: ‘His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently running tests. We will provide updates as we have them.’

Hours later, he appeared again on Good Morning America, revealing: ‘I can’t speak specifically on his medical condition but I will say he’s fighting. He’s a fighter.

Fans of the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals gathered outside the hospital where Hamlin was being treated, desperately waiting for an update on his condition

Fans of the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals gathered outside the hospital where Hamlin was being treated, desperately waiting for an update on his condition

Hamlin (No 3) got on his feet briefly after making the tackle on Higgins before falling backwards in shocking scenes as the Buffalo Bills played Cincinnati Bengals

Hamlin (No 3) got on his feet briefly after making the tackle on Higgins before falling backwards in shocking scenes as the Buffalo Bills played Cincinnati Bengals

Hamlin, 24, remains in a critical condition today after he tackled rival Bengals receiver Tee Higgens and collapsed before being rushed to hospital

Hamlin collapsed moments later, falling backwards and laying motionless on the floor

‘I needed to provide some clarity – he was awake at that time – now he is sedated. The family is in good spirits, we’re just taking it minute by minute, hour by hour.

‘His family is strong, supportive. Obviously they are worried. Damar is very close with his family.

‘There’s definitely been a lot of fans [at the hospital], a lot of traction, people coming by. But what’s most important is to give the family their privacy.

‘A lot of times you don’t view [athletes] as human, you know you watch them on tv. It’s important to remember this is a person.’

Hamlin’s family were at the game when he collapsed and his mother Nina traveled in the ambulance with him. About 100 Bills fans and a few Bengals fans gathered on a corner one block from the hospital’s emergency room entrance, some of them holding candles. 

The Buffalo Bills safety, who has set up charity toy drives to raise money for his local community, had tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgens in the first quarter of the pivotal Monday night match and got up briefly before falling backwards to the ground and laying motionless. 

Higgens led the outpouring of well wishes for the young player, tweeting that he ‘prays Hamlin will pull through’ as the player remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Higgins – the player tackled during the on-field incident – led the well wishes sent to Hamlin on Twitter, writing: ‘My prayers and thoughts go out to @HamlinIslandthe Hamlin Family. I’m praying that you pull through bro. Love.’

On the play the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin was injured, Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit the defensive back in the chest. Hamlin, who earns a base salary of $825,000, then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down. 

Hamlin quickly got to his feet, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backward about three seconds later and lay motionless.

Hamlin was surrounded by players from both sides and treated for 16 minutes before being immobilized and taken off the field. While medical personnel were gathered around Hamlin, his playing uniform was cut off.

Players on both teams were visibly stunned by what had happened and many were in tears on the field. 

Many players embraced, including quarterbacks Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow. The game was postponed by the NFL.

‘Please pray for our brother,’ Allen tweeted. 

Fans gather outside University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday in Cincinnati, where Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin was taken after collapsing on the field during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fans gather outside University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday in Cincinnati, where Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin was taken after collapsing on the field during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Medics ran onto the pitch to treat Hamlin after he collapsed on the floor following a tackle on Monday

Medics ran onto the pitch to treat Hamlin after he collapsed on the floor following a tackle on Monday

Bills players were visibly stunned as their teammate received life-saving treatment on the field

Bills players were visibly stunned as their teammate received life-saving treatment on the field

Buffalo Bills players collapse in anguish after Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during Monday night's game

Buffalo Bills players collapse in anguish after Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game

Buffalo Bills players and staff pray for Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin after he collapsed

Buffalo Bills players and staff pray for Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin after he collapsed 

Bills players were visibly praying for their teammate after he was driven away. According to ESPN, Hamlin’s family, including his mom Nina, were watching the game and came down to be with him as he left in the ambulance.

Hamlin is incredibly close to his family – and footage from November 20 shows the player greeting his family and hugging his mom before Buffalo’s win over Cleveland.

Hamlin’s agent Ira Turner told NFL Network: ‘Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no update at this time. Will ask that you keep the family in your prayers.’

‘I’ve never seen anything like it since I was playing,’ NFL executive Troy Vincent, a six-time Pro Bowl cornerback during his career, said in the conference call early Tuesday morning. ‘Immediately, my player hat went on, like, how do you resume playing after seeing a traumatic event in front of you?’

Hamlin is incredibly close to his family - and footage from November 20 shows the player greeting his family and hugging his mom before Buffalo's win over Cleveland

Hamlin is incredibly close to his family – and footage from November 20 shows the player greeting his family and hugging his mom before Buffalo’s win over Cleveland

Hamlin pictured alongside mother Nina during his playing days as a kid - he said he chose to stay close to home when going to college so he could be near his family

Hamlin pictured alongside mother Nina during his playing days as a kid – he said he chose to stay close to home when going to college so he could be near his family

Fans gather for a vigil at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for football player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills, who collapsed after making a tackle during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio

Fans gather for a vigil at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for football player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills, who collapsed after making a tackle during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio 

Fans gather for a vigil at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for football player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills, who collapsed after making a tackle during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio

Fans gather for a vigil at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for football player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills, who collapsed after making a tackle during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio

Hamlin’s uniform was cut off as he was attended to by medical personnel. ESPN reported on its telecast that Hamlin was also given oxygen.

During the match, the ESPN Monday Night Football broadcast cut to commercial on four occasions as Hamlin was receiving treatment. After the ambulance had left the field, reports initially suggested the game was going to restart following a five-minute warm-up, prompting an outpouring of anger on social media. 

Vincent said the league took no steps toward restarting the game and did not ask players to begin a five-minute warmup period as ESPN’s broadcasters had announced.

‘It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play,’ Vincent said. ‘That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. That’s not a place we should ever be in.’

A statement released by the league read: ‘Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.

‘Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.’

The harrowing incident on Monday night occurred just hours after the death of former Jacksonville Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri from acute heart failure at the age of 38.

Nwaneri collapsed at his wife’s home in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, and could not be saved. She reportedly found him unresponsive in a bedroom and called 911. According to the Lafayette Journal and Courier, an autopsy showed no indication of foul play. 

Fans gather for a vigil at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for football player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills on Monday

Fans gather for a vigil at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for football player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills on Monday

Fans light candles as they gather outside University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday night for Hamlin

Fans light candles as they gather outside University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday night for Hamlin 

Meanwhile, emotions ran high for ESPN’s broadcast crew, as analyst Booger McFarland offered an important bit of perspective.  

‘When you bring CPR out, you’re trying to help someone breathe. We’re talking life or death now,’ he said.

‘That’s real. What we do is just a game. When you involve life and death, it’s totally different.’

‘No one’s been through this,’ longtime NFL quarterback Troy Aikman added. ‘I’ve never seen anything like it, either.’

ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter weighed in as well, saying: ‘It is all about this young man and how he’s doing.

‘Everybody is thinking and praying for him, every team, every player, every individual, everybody who’s watching Monday night football, everybody who tuned in to see this highly anticipated game, nobody cares about that right now.’

Footage emerged later of Hamlin’s ambulance arriving at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

Isaiah McKenzie grabs his jersey as he reacts to Hamlin's injury

Isaiah McKenzie grabs his jersey as he reacts to Hamlin’s injury

Cam Lewis and Siran Neal of the Buffalo Bills react in shock to teammate Hamlin collapsing

Cam Lewis and Siran Neal of the Buffalo Bills react in shock to teammate Hamlin collapsing

Bills quarterback Josh Allen is surrounded by his teammates after his teammate was injured

Bills quarterback Josh Allen is surrounded by his teammates after his teammate was injured 

The aftermath of the injury was reminiscent of when Bills tight end Kevin Everett lay motionless on the field after making a tackle on the second-half opening kickoff in Buffalo’s 2007 season-opening game against the Denver Broncos.

Everett sustained a spinal cord injury that initially left him partially paralyzed.

Hamlin spent five years of college at Pittsburgh – his hometown – and appeared in 48 games for the Panthers over that span. He was a second-team All-ACC performer as a senior, was voted a team captain and was picked to play in the Senior Bowl.

He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter this year once Micah Hyde was lost for the season to injury.

By late Monday night, a community toy drive organized by Hamlin had surged to more than $3 million in donations. His stated goal was $2,500.

A video emerged Monday night of Hamlin participating in the toy drive for children during his time at Pitt, in which the budding player spoke up about his reasons for giving back.

‘Just seeing role models in person. I feel like that’s big in kids’ lives and that’s something that we haven’t always had in Pittsburgh,’ he said.

‘Just being younger and seeing the difference from some people that had that role models in their life. 

‘It could be you all you have to do is just work hard, stay focused. I’m thankful that I can even be in this position to give back.’

Hamlin also created ‘The Chasing M’s Foundation’ to ‘positively impact the community that raised me,’ with the charity’s first program a toy drive for the holidays in December 2020.

He explained his motivation for giving back on the toy drive’s GoFundMe page, with his third annual toy drive being held last week.

‘As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me,’ he said. 

This campaign gives you the opportunity to contribute to our first initiative and positively impact children who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

‘Thank you so much for supporting me on and off the field. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with you to help make the holiday season a little brighter for the kids in our community.’

Initially set for a goal of $2,500, the page was flooded with donations on Monday after news of his serious injury, with the page having $2.6million in donations at the time of writing.

That’s nearly double Hamlin’s base salary of $825,000 for this season.

Kathryn Bersani and her mother, Gayle, were among the Bills fans who traveled from Buffalo for the game and went to the hospital from the stadium.

‘This is our family Christmas,’ Kathryn Bersani said. ‘We thought it would be a great game. Joe (Burrow) and Josh (Allen) are such great men. Sad, sad time. Such a shock. I just hope he can live a normal life. It stunned us.’

Chuck and Janet Kohl went to the hospital after watching the game at home.

‘This is much more important than football,’ Chuck Kohl said. ‘Had to come and pray for Mr. Hamlin.’

Entering the game, Hamlin had 91 tackles, including 63 solo tackles, and 1 1/2 sacks.

A tweet from the Pitt football account was simple and clear: ‘Damar Hamlin is the best of us. We love you, 3,’ the tweet said, referring to Hamlin by his college jersey number. ‘Praying for you.’


Author: Jay Dobariya

This is Jay Dobariya years of experience in the field of journalism, Jay Dobariya heads the editorial operations of the Elite News as the Executive Reporter.

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