Damar Hamlin is on the road to recovery and throwing his support behind a good cause — and challenging Tom Brady to do the same.
The Buffalo Bills safety, who collapsed on the field during the team’s January 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals after suffering cardiac arrest following a collision with wide receiver Tee Higgins, is now teaming up with the American Heart Association to promote education on how to perform CPR.
In a video shared on his Instagram page, Hamlin kicked off the challenge by encouraging a trio of well-known figures to take part.
Damar Hamlin Challenges Tom Brady, LeBron James
The Bills safety shared a video thanking everyone who had shown him support in recent weeks, crediting the first responders who tended to him on the field and in the hospital immediately after his collapse.
“As you know, CPR saved my life earlier this year on the field. And CPR could easily save your life or someone you love,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin encouraged people to visit the American Heart Association’s website and watch a one-minute video that teaches them the basics of CPR. He also encouraged people to make donations to the American Heart Association for further CPR training and education.
In his post, Hamlin picked a trio of stars to take the challenge — Tom Brady, LeBron James, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. The post drew a viral response, with many Bills fans sharing and encouraging others to take the challenge.
Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington has earned praise for his quick work after Hamlin’s collapse, performing CPR on the field. As Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press noted, Kellington got some recognition from NFL reporters as well, earning a fifth-place MVP vote.
Dr. William Knight IV of the University of Cincinnati hospital also praised Kellington’s efforts in tending to Hamlin quickly to prevent any potential long-term damage.
“Not just saving his life, but his neurologic function. The reason why we’re talking about his recovery of neurologic function is the true critical importance of immediate and good and high-quality CPR and immediate access to the defibrillation,” Dr. Knight said.
Hamlin Aims to Give Back
In the weeks since his recovery, Hamlin has expressed gratitude for the support he has received and the more than $9 million raised to support a charitable effort that he spearheaded. As Buffalo’s WKBW reported, Hamlin’s family announced the creation of “The Chasing M’s Foundation” Charitable Fund. A released note that the fund will facilitate allocations of donations to Hamlin’s philanthropic programs as a verified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Hamlin directly expressed gratitude in a video posted online on January 28, saying that he wanted to do “great” things in the future.
“While I’m so thankful to everybody, I know that it isn’t enough just to be thankful,” Hamlin said. “This is just the beginning of the impact that I want to have on the world, and with God’s guidance I will continue to do wonderful and great things. I couldn’t do this without any of the support and the love, and I can’t wait to continue to take y’all on this journey with me.”