By Okon Ekpenyong
In response to what medical professionals describe as a commotio cordis (agitation or disruption of the heart) moment, it was a sight to see believers and non-believers standing together and sending their thoughts and prayers to Buffalo Bills Safety, Damar Hamlin, on Monday, January 3, 2022.
According to multiple sources, “after making a tackle after a catch by Cincinnati Bengals, Tee Higgins, the 24-year-old Hamlin stood up for a brief moment before falling over onto the turf. He would remain on the turf for about 16 minutes before being lifted onto a stretcher and into an ambulance”.
“Demar Hamlin was struck within milliseconds of his heartbeat, where his heart had a chance to repolarize and was then knocked out by the shock,” one medical doctor said. Hamil did receive CPR on the field, and according to Medical Professionals, CPR and defibrillation are successful in 58% of cases.”
The Buffalo Bills updated the public on Hamlin’s condition around 1:48 in the morning. “Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field, and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition,” the team said.
American Football generates more revenue in the United States than any other sport. It has provided many opportunities for young African American men who generally love playing, talking about it, and even dreaming of making it a career. Often, it is a gateway for these young men to escape becoming a social norm. Young immigrant men from the first and second generations of immigration have also benefited from the sport by being able to attend college for free.
But yes, it is true that American Football, despite its hype, can be a dangerous sport. Over the years, the league, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Federation of State High School Associations, and others have made significant changes to make it safer for players. Despite these changes, incidents have resulted in injuries, concussions, and, unfortunately, in Hamlin’s case, potentially life-threatening.
However, in reality, sports generally are good for one’s health, teach discipline, provide an escape from stress, and remind an individual of the essence of what it is like to be a part of a team. But remember that despite the highs, all sports have a dangerous side.
A win over the Bengals would give the Bills the #1 seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if they won. But seeing Niagara Falls on the US side, the City Hall, and surrounding landmarks in the city of Buffalo lit up in blue meant life is more than Football. Also, witnessing both organizations, the league and the fans coming together in solidity proves that humanity does exist after all.
The NFL Star suffered a Cardiac Arrest meaning his heart stopped beating. Following careful consideration of such a life-threatening injury’s impact on everyone on the field, in the stands, and watching from afar, the league temporarily suspended the game but ultimately postponed it.
Demar Hamlin was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. The safety would play five seasons for the University before getting drafted in 2021 in the sixth round by Buffalo Bills. Within just a year, the safety went on to become a starter living out his NFL dreams.
The National Football League released a statement shortly after postponing the game
“Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced. Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by a team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was transported to a local hospital, where he is in critical condition.”
Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association, which agrees with postponing the game.
Latest report on Wednesday, January 4 indicated that “Damar remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted yesterday and overnight.” He is expected to remain under intensive care as his health care team continues to monitor and treat him.
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