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Feeling the support. Damar Hamlin’s family spoke out after the Buffalo Bills safety collapsed on the field during the Monday, January 2, game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time,” read a statement shared by the football player’s marketing representative, Jordon Rooney. “We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country.”
The statement continued: “We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be a part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done.”
The athlete, 24, suffered from cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of the Monday night game. Hamlin collapsed and medical professionals rushed to him on the field to perform nearly 10 minutes of CPR. His “heartbeat was restored on the field,” the Bills organization later said in a statement, noting that the NFL star was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The statement added that Hamlin was “currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”
Following the accident, the game was “temporarily suspended” before it was officially postponed.
Amid the Pennsylvania native’s hospitalization, Hamlin received more than $4 million in donations for his Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive via GoFundMe. Hamlin’s family was moved and touched by the amount of “generosity and compassion” offered, noting in Tuesday’s statement that it “means the world to us.”
The family also asked fans to “please keep Damar in your prayers” and that they would release updates as soon as they have them.
Along with fans offering their support to Hamlin and his family, current and retired NFL players took to social media to react, including Josh Allen, Justin Fields, J.J. Watt and Kirk Cousins. The Bengals’ official Twitter account sent their well wishes to Hamlin at the time of the incident and the Ohio teams’ owner, Mike Brown, released a statement the next day.
“First and foremost, the Bengals continue to send their thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family. Our hearts are with everyone in this unprecedented time — what we can do is support one another.” read the statement shared via Twitter. “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.”