The 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while on the field during Monday night’s game.
The family of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin thanked fans for their “sincere gratitude” and asked for prayers as the 24-year-old remains in critical condition after he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game.
“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 attributed to the Hamlin family and posted by Jordon Rooney; the statement was also shared by the NFL.
“We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country.”
A statement from the family of Damar Hamlin. pic.twitter.com/I0QFQehUc0
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2023
Hamlin’s family also thanked first responders, medical professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the support of the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us.
Please keep Damar in your prayers,” the statement continued, adding that the family will provide more updates when they have them.
Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after he made a hit during the first quarter of the game on Jan. 2, the Bills said in a statement. Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, stood up and then fell over on his back.
Medical personnel were able to restore Hamlin’s heartbeat on the field, and he was transferred to the intensive care unit of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remained on Jan. 3, according to the Bills.
The Bengals led the Bills 7-3 when the game was suspended with 5:58 left in the first quarter.
The NFL made the unprecedented move to postpone the game about an hour later, and the league said on Jan. 3 it would not resume the game during week 18.
Eric Wood, a former Bills player who was at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, told TODAY the scene was “unbelievable.”
“This stadium went from maybe the loudest, most electric stadium I’ve ever been in — there was so much anticipation for this game — to just complete silence,” Wood said.
“From the moment Damar hit the turf, it just seemed like something was different,” he continued.
“This situation was a lot more severe than normal, and a lot of that was based upon the players’ reactions.”
Hamlin’s teammates, as well as teams across the league, sent prayers and well wishes for the 24-year-old.
The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar. pic.twitter.com/lDWNAOEPX4
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
“The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar,” the Bills said in a tweet, referencing a nickname for its fans.
“Please pray for our brother,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted.
“Sending our thoughts and prayers to Damar,” the Bengals said in a tweet, adding the prayer hands emoji.
Fans also donated to a community toy drive Hamlin organized in 2020 to provide children in need with toys during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the drive isn’t related to Hamlin’s medical incident, fans have donated more than $4.2 million to show their support.
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