Following Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin’s sudden cardiac arrest and collapse on the field, assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington is being recognized for his quick administration of CPR to the athlete.
“One hero who should be recognized here: Last night, I was told the work of Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington in administrating CPR to Damar Hamlin on Monday was absolutely vital,” sports journalist Albert Breer wrote on Twitter. “The speed and skill in which he and others reacted = A huge difference-maker.”
In addition to Breer, head coach Sean McDermott largely praised the assistant trainer for “saving Damar’s life” due to the trainer’s incredibly quick reaction time to the situation.
“For an assistant to find himself at that position and needing to take the action that he did and step up and take charge like he did – and there were others on the field as well – is nothing short of amazing,” McDermott said of Kellington during a press conference. “And the courage that took – you talk about a real leader, a real hero in saving Damar’s life, and just admire his strength.”
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Following his collapse, Hamlin was transported to a nearby hospital and has been in recovery ever since. Although he is in critical condition, his medical team is reporting strong strides in his recovery. According to Dr. Timothy Pritts, one of Hamlin’s doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Kellington’s decision to administer CPR was essential in preserving not only Hamlin’s life but his neurological functioning abilities.
Medical staff praise Denny Kellington for remaining calm under ‘very challenging circumstances’
“The Bills training staff who was with him immediately recognized that this was not a run-of-the-mill injury and that they had a significant event on their hands and immediately responded and got the emergency response team involved in his care,” Dr. Pritts shared, per the Buffalo Bills.
“And really, this went as well as something like this could go under very challenging circumstances, and they did a fantastic job which is why we’re here today.”
The doctor added, “The reason why we’re talking about his recovery of neurologic function is the true critical importance of immediate and good and high-quality CPR and immediate access to the defibrillation.”
Dr. Pritts noted that the next step in Hamlin’s recovery is being able to breathe on his own and the continuation of neurological improvements. As of Sunday, the football player posted a photo of him on social media awake in his hospital bed and seems to be making improvements every day.
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