Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills has officially been cleared by doctors to resume practicing with the National Football League.
In January of this year during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the safety player experienced an abrupt blow to the head. Not soon after the hit, he went into cardiac arrest and was escorted to a nearby hospital where he remained in critical condition for days. Nearly two weeks after his collapse, he was discharged from the hospital and began his transition back into everyday life.
Now, after nearly four months of hospital visits, medical monitoring, and adjusting, Hamlin is prepared to return to the Buffalo Bills. In a press conference, he shared his comeback plan and the condition doctors believe caused his cardiac arrest.
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“It’s a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest, and five-to-seven seconds later, you fall out,” the 25-year-old said, explaining the characteristics of the medical abnormality known as Commotio cordis. “That’s pretty much what everyone’s seen Jan. 2 of this year. Commotio cordis is the leading cause of death in youth athletes across all sports. So that’s something that I personally will be taking a step in to make a change.”
“You can keep going in something without having the answers and without knowing what’s at the end of the tunnel,” Hamlin continued. “Or you might feel anxious, you might feel any type of way, but you keep putting that right foot in front of the left one and you keep going. I want to stand for that.”
Damar Hamlin discusses his outlook on life following cardiac arrest
After experiencing such a life-changing event, it is no surprise Hamlin is walking away from his near-death experience with a different outlook on life. With all things considered, he revealed he’s most happy to still see his close family and friends.
“For them to still have me around, and for me to still have them, it goes both ways. And I lost a bunch of people in my life, and I know a bunch of people who have lost people in their lives, and I know that feeling. So that right there is just the biggest blessing of it all,” he shared. “For me to still have my people, and for my people to still have me.”
Throughout his press release, Hamlin also made sure to emphasize the importance of putting preventative measures in place to ensure the safety of fellow football players.
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