Heart Health

published : 2023-11-04

Bills' Damar Hamlin Returns to Cincinnati After Life-Changing Cardiac Arrest

Buffalo Bills safety reflects on his journey and shows gratitude

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin reflecting on his journey while standing on the sidelines, taken with a Canon EOS R

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is gearing up for a momentous occasion this Sunday. It will be his first return to Cincinnati since a fateful day 10 months ago, when his life took an unexpected turn.

During Week 18 of the 2022 NFL season, Hamlin experienced a cardiac arrest while making a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. The Bills' medical staff worked relentlessly to restore his heartbeat on the field, and he was swiftly transported to a Cincinnati hospital for further treatment.

Sunday's game carries immense emotional weight for Hamlin. In an interview with the New York Post, he admitted that he isn't sure what to expect from this unique experience. However, one thing is certain: he will walk into that stadium with courage, strength, and the support of his loved ones.

Damar Hamlin surrounded by his supportive teammates, walking onto the field with courage and determination, taken with a Nikon D850

Returning to the place where his life changed forever, Hamlin is overwhelmed by the love and support he has received from the Cincinnati community. He eagerly awaits the opportunity to express his gratitude and reciprocate the kindness shown to him.

But amidst the sentimental journey lies a fierce determination to secure victory. Hamlin is focused on achieving success with his teammates and is prepared to give his all on the field.

Since his recovery, Hamlin has made significant contributions off the field. Through his Chasing M's Foundation, he has been offering free CPR training and donating automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to youth sports organizations. His efforts have inspired others to join him in raising awareness about cardiac health.

Damar Hamlin showcasing his gratitude towards the Cincinnati community, surrounded by a group of young football players, taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III

Hamlin's advocacy work even caught the attention of President Biden, who granted him an audience to discuss legislation aimed at improving access to AEDs in schools.

This Sunday's game is particularly poignant for Hamlin, prompting him to reflect on the whirlwind of emotions he has experienced since the start of 2023. He exudes gratitude for life's simplest pleasures, such as waking up each day and savoring a meal. Amidst it all, he recognizes the significance of his football career and remains thankful for the opportunity to play at the highest level.

Sports writer Scott Thompson captures the essence of this remarkable journey, and Hamlin's unwavering spirit exemplifies the resilience and determination that lies within the human spirit.