Each of the 10 scholarships will be individually named after the first responders, nurses and doctors who treated him.
Damar Hamlin is paying it forward in the most beautiful way. The Buffalo Bills recently announced that doctors have fully cleared Hamlin to play football again. The 25-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest mid-game earlier this year, spent nine days in the hospital following his collapse and was diagnosed with commotio cordis, which he said was "a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest and five to seven seconds later, you fall out." During the press conference, he told reporters that commotio cordis is "the leading cause of death in youth athletes across all sports" and he will be "personally taking a step" to raise awareness.
The incident occurred during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2. Dr. Gordon F. Tomaselli from the American Heart Association added that commotio cordis is "a rare cardiac arrest immediately following a blow to the chest" that "induces a potentially lethal heart rhythm disturbance, or arrhythmia, called ventricular fibrillation." Thanks to the support of the medical staff and his loved ones, Hamlin is doing much better, both physically and mentally.
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Local Bengals beat reporter Olivia Ray shared a video on X earlier this month of the athlete kneeling down to the Bengals logo while dressed in his team warmup clothes. It was an emotional moment for the athlete as he made his way back to the locker room. According to PEOPLE, Hamlin spent the time reflecting on the field after the game at Paycor Stadium, where he had collapsed.
"I feel like this whole situation, everything that happened to me, was all a part of a bigger plan and a bigger picture," he said in an interview with the American Heart Association, shared with PEOPLE. "God has seen that my purpose is bigger than just football. Way bigger than just football," Hamlin added. "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."
Now, the Buffalo Bills safety has decided to come forward with a scholarship program for young people in Cincinnati and he's doing so by honoring the medical team that saved his life. Each of the 10 scholarships will be individually named after the first responders, nurses and doctors who treated him. "Last night, I had dinner with my heroes. Ten of the UC Medical Staff that helped save my life," he wrote on X. "I surprised them with a scholarship named after each of them that will support youth in Cincy to chase their dreams. Wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them."
Last night I had dinner with my heroes. 10 of the UC Medical Staff that helped save my life.— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) November 5, 2023
I surprised them with a scholarship named after each of them that will support youth in Cincy to chase their dreams.
Wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them!🏾 pic.twitter.com/sEOCDkwYvk
Hamlin's charitable foundation, Chasing M's, will be awarding $1,000 scholarships to 10 individuals in underserved communities in Cincinnati for the next three years. "I'm humbled by the opportunity to set up a scholarship program to honor this team of professionals—my Cincinnati heroes—who helped save my life," Hamlin said in a released statement per PIX 11. "Today, as I look at honoring these Cincinnati heroes and lifting up young people who are trying to find their way, I'm reminded of the enormous blessing I've been given through my charity and the generosity of people around the world."
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