Family of hospitalized Bills safety Damar Hamlin thankful for outpouring of support

Damar Hamlin’s family expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support for Buffalo Bills safety while asking everyone to keep the hospitalized player in their prayers on Tuesday.

“We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans across the country,” Hamlin’s family wrote in a message posted on the Twitter account of the player’s marketing representative, Jordon Rooney. “Your generosity and compassion have meant the world to us.”

The family also thanked first responders, medical staff at UC Medical Center, the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals for their support.

The Bills announced Tuesday that Hamlin, 24, spent the night in intensive care and remained in critical condition a day after his heart stopped while making a tackle in the first quarter of a game against the Bengals. which was later postponed.

Medical staff restored his heartbeat during frantic moments on the pitch before he was loaded into an ambulance, with watery-eyed players and coaches from both teams struggling to hide their emotions.

“Damar suffered cardiac arrest and was promptly resuscitated by on-site club doctors and independent medical personnel, all of whom are highly trained to implement emergency medical plans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. , in a letter sent to all teams. by the Associated Press.

“Damar was stabilized and transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center, where he remains in intensive care.”

WATCH | The cardiologist explains what may have triggered Hamlin’s cardiac arrest:

What could have caused Bills Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest?

A sudden blow to the chest of Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin during Monday night’s NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals appears to have sent Hamlin into cardiac arrest, says cardiologist Dr. Christopher Labos.

“Above all, the Bengals continue to send thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family. Our hearts are with everyone at this unprecedented time – what we can do is support each other. each other,” Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement released by the team.

“While the medical staff took extraordinary measures, both teams showed respect and compassion as the fans in the stadium and people across the country reinforced support for Damar and the love one for each other. Bengals are grateful for the love and compassion shown by all. Pray for Damar.”

Hamlin was injured when he tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on a seemingly routine play that didn’t seem exceptionally violent.

I have a lot of respect and love for him as a human being, his commitment to pursuing his goals and dreams…— Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Damar Hamlin

As the Bills sophomore was sedated in a hospital bed with his family by his side, Hamlin’s competitive spirit and generosity was not lost on those who know him.

“All I can say is he fights, he’s a fighter,” Jordon Rooney, a family rep who described himself as a good friend of Hamlin, told ABC. hello america tuesday.

“I have a lot of respect and love for him as a human being, his commitment to pursuing his goals and his dreams of doing what he’s doing right now, which is playing in the NFL,” added Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. , who has known Hamlin since he was 12 years old. “To see him make personal decisions and make them an achievement, it’s just an honor to get to know young people like that. I’ve had the opportunity to express that to him every time I’ve seen him. . “

“Kind, caring, extremely hard worker”

Hamlin’s teammates also rallied in support.

“Demar Hamlin is an extremely hard and caring worker. He’s loyal, honest and can always put a smile on your face,” Bills offensive lineman Rodger Saffold wrote in a post on Twitter. “He’s more than an athlete, he’s a son and a brother. I pray that God will have mercy on him and bring him back to us.”

On the play Hamlin was hurt, Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit the defensive back to the chest.

Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to bring him down. Hamlin quickly stood up, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, then fell backwards about three seconds later and remained motionless.

Hamlin was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where teammate Stefon Diggs later joined him.

The league says it hasn’t tried to restart the game

NFL executive Troy Vincent, a six-time Pro Bowl cornerback in his career, said on the conference call early Tuesday morning. “Immediately, my gamer hat went on, like, how do you start playing again after seeing a traumatic event in front of you?”

Vincent said the league took no action to restart play and did not ask players to begin a five-minute warm-up period as announced by ESPN broadcasters.

“It never occurred to us to talk about warming up to get back into play,” Vincent said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s insensitive. It’s not a place we should be.”

Vincent said the Bills returned early Tuesday morning to the team facility in Orchard Park, NY, except for a few players who stayed with Hamlin.

Vigil setup for the Bills player at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
A vigil is posted at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who remains in critical condition after the team said his heart stopped while making a tackle in the first quarter of the Monday night’s game against the hometown Bengals. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Bengals led 7-3 in the first quarter of a game between teams vying for the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Cincinnati came in at 11-4 and led AFC North by one game against Baltimore, while champion AFC East Buffalo was 12-3.

Many NFL teams canceled their media availabilities on Tuesday, including the New England Patriots, which are scheduled to travel to Buffalo for the two-team season finales on Sunday. The NFL schedule is now in flux after the game between Buffalo (12-3) and Cincinnati (11-3) — a matchup with implications for the AFC playoffs — was postponed indefinitely.

On Tuesday, the league said Goodell informed the Bills and Bengals that their game would not resume this week. No decision has been made on whether it will be played at a later date, with the league making no changes to its Week 18 schedule.

The two playoff-bound teams were supposed to play two games, including Monday night’s game, before the playoffs open Jan. 14.

Bills and Bengals fans gathered at the hospital after the game was postponed, with many returning on Tuesday.

Elena Weiler, 33, of Amelia, Ohio, and Billy Jeffers held a sign that read “Pray for Hamlin 3” with candles in front.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Bengals fan or a Bills fan, we’re here to show our support,” said Jeffers, wearing a Bengals sweatshirt.

Jill Kelly, the wife of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, announced that a prayer vigil will be held later Tuesday outside the team’s stadium.

In Cincinnati, more than 40 people attended a prayer service at Crossroads Community Church.

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