Damar Hamlin’s family shares statement as Bills’ safety remains hospitalized
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The family of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin released their first statement following the horrifying scene that played out Monday on the field of Paycor Stadium.
The Hamlin family opened their statement by expressing gratitude for the wave of love and support from his teammates and peers, and fans across the country.
Jordan Rooney, who says he is Hamlin’s friend and marketing representative, posted the family’s message on Twitter.
Hamlin collapsed at 8:53 p.m. on the field during the first quarter of the Bills and Bengals Monday Night Football game.
With uncertainty filling the air, the gravity of the situation became evident as cameras focused on Bengals and Bills players.
Heads dropped as tears ran down the cheeks of NFL players as they looked on, wishing for Hamlin to be alright.
The athletes, considered by some to be the toughest in professional sports, turned to one another to offer support as all they could do was hope and pray.
For 15 minutes, the second-year player from Pittsburgh remained down on the field in Cincinnati.
First responders “frantically” administered CPR, according to announcer Joe Buck, as Hamlin’s pulse stopped. An automated external defibrillator was used on the field, FOX19′s Joe Danneman was told.
Hamlin was given oxygen, placed on a stretcher, hooked up to an IV and carried into an ambulance that had entered the field.
Hamlin’s mother was in the Paycor Stadium stands to watch her son play in what was likely the most important regular-season game of his young career. She was brought down from her seat to ride with him in the ambulance bound for the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
By the time he was en route to the hospital, his pulse had been restored, but he was still not breathing on his own, Danneman explained.
It would later be announced by the Bills that the 24-year-old Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a collision with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.
He spent the night in intensive care and remains in critical condition as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Bills announced.
The game itself became an afterthought before it was eventually postponed.
Only one thing was on the minds of players and fans - Hamlin.
They started the day as opponents, and by night’s end, Bengals and Bills fans came together outside the hospital to show support for Hamlin.
“I know that Bills Mafia is just pouring with love and pouring with support right now, and when you get us all together, we’ll have our moments of silence and we’ll show our love,” said Bills fan Andrew Irlbacher who drove from Buffalo to Cincinnati for Monday’s game.
The support and prayers for the Bills’ safety were visible in Cincinnati and nationwide. Look no further for evidence of the support going out than a GoFundMe created by Hamlin.
Hamlin started the Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive in 2020. He explained on the fundraiser page he wanted his foundation to help the community that raised him.
He established a community toy drive for his foundation through the fundraising website.
The initial goal for the toy drive was to raise $2,500, and by the start of Monday Night Football, it had raised a little less than $100,000.
Once a link to the GoFundMe was posted on Twitter, donation after donation flooded the fundraiser.
Hundreds of thousands of donations poured in within hours. By midday Tuesday, more than $4 million has been donated to Hamlin’s GoFundMe.
“Just showing the love and support,” expressed Bengals fan Billy Jeffers. “It don’t matter if you’re a Bengals fan or a Bills fan, we’re here to support each other no matter what.”
The outpour of love for Hamlin was acknowledged by Bengals President Mike Brown.
“Last night was supposed to be a great night for the NFL and a great showcase for our hometown. Instead, the human side of our sport became paramount ... and in that moment, humanity and love rose to the forefront,” Brown said Tuesday.
A few hours after Brown’s statement, the NFL announced the Bengals and Bills game would not resume this week.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said no decision has been made on whether or not the game will be played at a later date.
The statement from the NFL says no changes have been made to the Week 18 schedule.
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