Damar Hamlin appears at Super Bowl alongside medical team that saved his life

Buffalo Bills safety appeared at State Farm Stadium before game

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Monday 13 February 2023 02:27 GMT
Damar Hamlin appears pitchside at the Super Bowl

Damar Hamlin was honoured on the field ahead of the 2023 Super Bowl alongside the medical team who saved his life.

The Buffalo Bills safety was joined by the athletic and medical staff from his team and the Bengals as well as the team from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

This was his third appearance in the build-up to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona, taking to the field at the State Farm Stadium before the kick-off of the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.

It has only been just over a month since Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati.

He also appeared on stage at “NFL Honors” on Thursday night after the medical teams were recognised for their work.

Hamlin has previously credited Buffalo Bills trainer Denny Kellington for saving his life after he collapsed following a collision during the Bills’ game with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kellington was among the first responders who helped revive him.

“I owe Denny my life, literally,” Hamlin told Good Morning America. “He loves to say he was just doing his job, which is true. That night he was literally the saviour of my life, administering CPR on me.

“If it wasn’t for someone showing up that day with a clear mind and whatever’s going on in their personal life, just to put it aside, and be present in the moment to actually be able to do their job correctly, that’s something I’m truly thankful for and don’t take for granted.”

Hamlin was also spotted with LeBron James, who recently set the NBA career scoring record.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott had previously hailed the role of assistant athletic trainer Kellington.

“For an assistant to find himself at that position and needing to take the action that he did and step up and take charge like he did – and there were others on the field as well – is nothing short of amazing,” McDermott said of Kellington.

“And the courage that took, you talk about a real leader, a real hero in saving Damar’s life and just admire his strength.”

Hamlin made a brief appearance in Phoenix this week ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl to receive the NFLPA’s Alan Page Community Award.

The Buffalo Bills safety received the award at the Phoenix Convention Center on Wednesday, a little over a month after he went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati.

“One of my favorite quotes: it’s a blessing to be a blessing,” Hamlin said, reading from a brief statement with his parents on stage with him. “With that being said, I plan to never take this position for granted and always have an urgent approach to making a difference in the community where I come from and also communities across the world.”

Hamlin was one of five finalists for the Alan Page Award, which annually recognizes one player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his team city and/or hometown. His foundation received $100,000 with the award.

“He is not only an individual who has overcome a tremendous amount, he’s not only a person who reminds us just how dangerous this game is, but also the spirit, the love, the joy, the fraternity of people who play this game,” NFLPA executive director Demaurice Smith said.

Hamlin’s toy drive fundraiser received unexpected GoFundMe donations in the days and weeks after he collapsed. Chasing M’s has since raised more than $9m.

“Giving back to my community has always been a part of who I am,” Hamlin said. “I’m thankful for my father, who’s right here behind me, growing up watching him doing community days in our community. I always was waiting on my time when it came.”

Additional reporting by AP

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