The Pitt News

At PNC Park in the North Shore, a representative from the mayor’s office presented Bills safety Damar Hamlin with a proclamation declaring July 9, 2023 as Damar Hamlin Day in Pittsburgh. Hamlin, standing next to a lectern, remained calm and patiently awaited his turn to step onto the stage.

Just a few months ago, it was not expected that Hamlin would be able to survive alone long enough to make public appearances like this. However, on Sunday, Hamlin appeared healthy and energetic, while a large crowd of fans attended and loomed over his state of health.

During the Football Night game on January 2023, Hamlin suddenly collapsed on the field and later experienced a sudden cardiac arrest. However, Higins, the wide receiver for the Bengals, made a routine tackle on Tee, the Bengals receiver.

Ultimately, Hamlin’s life was saved when medics were able to stabilize him using an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine and CPR. It became apparent that Hamlin had stopped breathing and his heart had stopped, so the medics rushed onto the field.

Hamlin aims to ensure that everyone now has access to the life-saving therapies that medical professionals employed on that chilly January night, more than six months after his brush with death.

“My experience has shown the world how important CPR is and having access to AEDs should a cardiac arrest happen,” Hamlin said.

Ohio Cincinnati will host an event, and in a similar event, Buffalo in New York also hosted a charity called Foundation M’s Chasing the CPR Drive, which is a larger part of distributing AED devices to local youth sports organizations and teaching CPR to attendees. Additionally, in Pittsburgh, this event is hosted by several organizations, including Foundation M’s Chasing the CPR Drive and Hamlin, with the mayor’s proclamation naming the day after him.

Hamlin stated, “Our primary focus is on the CPR M’s Chasing The tour, which aims to promote justice.” “As soon as I started to recover, we knew we had to take action. We were determined to navigate through this situation and my family and I sat down together.”

Nancy Brown, the CEO of the American Heart Association, believes that her organization will have a significant positive influence. Hamlin has partnered with the American Heart Association to promote nationwide awareness of CPR. Hamlin hopes that his charity initiatives will have a much larger impact, touching the lives of millions of Americans and making a difference in his challenging fight.

“Brown expressed that Hamlin’s participation signifies a great deal. “We have been educating individuals in CPR for many years and, with Damar’s vocal support and active involvement as a CPR advocate, it contributes to increasing awareness. It encourages people to attend events like today’s [Hamlin’s CPR event], enabling them to acquire essential life-saving abilities,” he stated.

Brown stated that it served as the ideal illustration of how emergency personnel should manage a heart attack, while Hamlin’s struggle was deeply troubling. Similar to numerous individuals, Brown observed Hamlin’s battle for survival on live television.

Brown stated, “Every step in the chain of survival was executed flawlessly during the Football Night we witnessed.” “Furthermore, high-quality CPR was administered and an AED was used on-site, with the presence of well-trained emergency responders. It is important to acknowledge the significance of this event.” “The partnership between the American Heart Association and Damar Foundation ensures that everyone has an equal chance of having their life saved.”

Dr. Edward Snell, an orthopedic physician for Allegheny Health Network, believes that the efforts of Hamlin’s Network will ultimately save lives and spread awareness about CPR, which will have a tremendously positive impact on the local community. Health professionals in Pittsburgh also believe in Hamlin’s efforts.

Snell stated that the man’s life was preserved through his efforts. “The head of orthopedics in my team was present in Bradenton and promptly attended to a spectator who collapsed during a practice session. We have a compelling instance of this incident. “I believe the people in Pittsburgh will support and appreciate his actions here, and hopefully, it will contribute to raising awareness among individuals.”

Local youth organizations are distributing AEDs with the assistance of Hamlin. The company had a stand to demonstrate how to use the devices to attendees. Additionally, Stryker Foundation hosted the M’s Chasing CPR training in order to promote the use of AEDs in public.

The former Pitt defensive lineman Donald Aaron and Stefon Diggs, a notable NFL star and teammate of Hamlin’s on the Bills, attended the softball game. The game, hosted on Pitt’s campus at Charles L. Cost Field, was a charity event that also featured celebrity players. In addition, Hamlin kicked off the weekend by participating in a youth football camp at Cupples Stadium in Southside on Friday, July 7th. The weekend was part of the Chasing The M’s Foundation’s charity initiatives, with the CPR drive taking place at PNC Park.

Despite the allure of the weekend’s festivities and activities, Hamlin stayed committed to ensuring that CPR and other life-saving interventions are available to all those who require it, with the objective remaining evident for Hamlin.

Hamlin stated, “In my opinion, the primary goal of this is to generate a ripple effect.” “At some point in the future, there might be an individual who acquires CPR knowledge today [Sunday, July 9] and has the opportunity to rescue a life,” he expressed. “Additionally, I firmly believe that it shouldn’t be mandatory to participate in the NFL in order to understand that you will have the opportunity to be rescued in case of a heart attack.”

And, while his journey was not easy, Hamlin is grateful that his experiences can have such a positive impact across the nation.

Hamlin said, “Schools are ensuring that they possess automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and are knowledgeable about their usage. Furthermore, new laws are being enacted to safeguard our young generation, and there is a growing number of individuals nationwide who are acquiring CPR skills on a daily basis.” Reflecting on my own experience, my story has had an impact on others, uplifting their spirits. It was not an effortless journey as I traveled the road for the last six months.”