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Damar Hamlin gets emotional as he honors Buffalo Bills trainers who revived his life at ESPY awards

Damar Hamlin collapsed during a game after suffering from cardiac arrest on January 2, prompting a quick response from the Buffalo Bills trainers.

Damar Hamlin gets emotional as he honors Buffalo Bills trainers who revived his life at ESPY awards
Cover image courtesy: Damar Hamlin attends The 2023 ESPY Awards at Dolby Theatre on July 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Damar Hamlin got teary-eyed at the ESPY Awards on July 12 when he thanked and appreciated the Buffalo Bills training staff for saving his life after he collapsed on the field during a game on January 2. The 25-year-old told his story in a video before honoring them with the Pat Tillman Award for Service. "I didn't wake up that morning in January thinking that I would need someone to save my life that day and I doubt that the staff thought that they had to do what they did either," he expressed. "What I've taken away from what happened to me six and a half months ago, is that any of us at any given time are capable of doing something that's incredible, in saving a life and living a life in service to others," the footballer continued.

Cover Image Source: Damar Hamlin speaks onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, California on March 27, 2023, (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)
Cover Image Source: Damar Hamlin speaks onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, California on March 27, 2023, (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

 

"It’s a blessing. It’s a responsibility. And it's the very reason why you’re hearing my voice right now. Anyone could be a hero. These are mine," he said concluding the video. Hamlin received a standing ovation. Hamlin broke down into tears and sobbed on stage as he announced the award to the group. The Buffalo Bills' head athletic trainer, Nate Breske, accepted the award on behalf of the team, saying, "I'm humbled and honored to be speaking tonight, representing the Buffalo Bills athletic training staff... By the grace of God and divine intervention, we had the best outcome we could have prayed for."

"It was a massive army of specialists who came together on and off the field to do their jobs at night. That team includes the athletic trainers and medical staffs, equipment, managers, player, engagement, personnel, mental health clinicians, chaplains, security on-field first responders, paramedics and the entire medical staff at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center," he added.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by DaⓂ️ar Hamlin <3 (@d.ham3)


 

 



 

 

In January, Hamlin collapsed and his heart stopped while making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was canceled, and Hamlin's story made national headlines as he recovered from the incident. After being in critical condition for nine days, Hamlin was able to leave the hospital and show his support for his teammates on the sidelines during the NFL playoffs. The Pennsylvania native stated that he has made great progress and plans to return to the field this fall. At the annual NFL Honors in February, Halmin also recognized the medical personnel who acted quickly to revive him. "I want to give a special thank you to everyone on this stage for everything they did for me," Hamlin said at that event. "And thank you to everyone around the world who prayed for me and hoped for me. The journey will continue."


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by DaⓂ️ar Hamlin <3 (@d.ham3)


 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DaⓂ️ar Hamlin <3 (@d.ham3)


 

 

The Pat Tillman Award for Service is presented annually to an individual or individuals who serve others in the spirit of Tillman, who died in Afghanistan after enlisting in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Prior to the ceremony, Marie Tillman Shenton, board chair and co-founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation, issued a statement on the decision to give the award to first responders, which had previously been given to Gretchen Evans (2022), Kim Clavel (2020), and Jake Wood (2019). "I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that last January, when Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field, the training staff at the Buffalo Bills organization exemplified the utmost strength and resilience, jumping into action to perform life-saving measures when they were needed the most," Tillman Shenton said.

"These professionals didn’t waste a moment before jumping into action for one of the most frightening scenarios they could have prepared for — on the world’s stage no less — and ultimately saving Damar Hamlin’s life through their quick and decisive teamwork," she continued. "The group's commitment to service mirrors Pat’s passion and dedication to serving others and our mission here at the foundation."



 

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