As he prepares for the upcoming NFL season, Damar Hamlin is getting candid about his recovery from a mid-game cardiac arrest on live television.
On January 2nd during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills player collapsed on the side of the field after going into cardiac arrest. CPR was administered to the athlete and was quickly transported to a nearby hospital. He spent 10 days in the hospital before doctors determined he was strong enough to return home.
Over the last few months, he has dedicated his time to ensuring his health is in the best condition. But, in doing so, he discovered a newfound passion for heart health advocacy. In a recent interview with the American Heart Association, Hamlin publicly discussed the medical event that nearly left him dead in January.
“I’m just trying to focus on the right foot in front of the left,” he told host Nancy Brown, the CEO of the American Heart Association. “I’m learning going with the flow and emotions is just best. Not worrying about trying to control too much of how you’re feeling.”
With this being said, Hamlin believes his cardiac arrest was a blessing in disguise. Rather than living in fear, he is choosing to advocate for heart health, even appearing before Congress to show support for the Access to AEDs Act, which aims to help place more defibrillators in schools.
“I feel like this whole situation, everything that happened to me, was all a part of a bigger plan and a bigger picture,” he explained.
Damar Hamlin says, “My purpose is bigger than just football” following cardiac arrest.
“God [has] seen that my purpose is bigger than just football. Way bigger than just football,” Hamlin continued. “I always knew that. I’ve always felt like I was more than just an athlete and a football player and he gave me a purpose and something to stand for that’s way bigger than just a game.”
Although he goes through life with a new purpose, Hamlin admitted his heart is still in the game and plans to return to the NFL this upcoming season. After the Bills’ medical staff cleared him to play in April, he announced he would continue prepping for the 2023 season.
“My heart is still in the game. I love the game. It is something I want to prove to myself, not nobody else,” he shared at the time, according to ESPN. “I just wanna show people that that fear is a choice that you can keep going in something without having the answers and without knowing what’s at the end of the tunnel.”
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