After a wonderful weekend ringing in the new year by watching a ridiculous amount of college and NFL football—the last thing I expected to witness following yesterday’s Rose Bowl, was the Buffalo Bills’ 24 year old safety, Damar Hamlin, as he appeared to have died suddenly before our very eyes.
This breakdown will delve into the recent emotionally-rocking and all-around terrible tragedy that shook the world of American sports during the NFL’s Week 17 final regular season game of Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals football; a moment that, quite frankly, I will never forget.
On the evening of Monday, January 2nd, Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, suddenly collapsed on the field during the first quarter of the last regular season NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals directly after tackling Bengals wide receiver, Tee Higgins.
Following the sudden mid-game collapse, the medical team attempted to save the young player’s life, performing CPR and other resuscitation methods for an excruciating nail-biting nine minutes.
According to the live ESPN broadcast, Damar Hamlin received oxygen as paramedics drove an ambulance on the field to rush him and his mother, who was at the game, to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he remains in critical condition. He was sped off the field approximately 16 minutes after he collapsed.
We would subsequently learn, just after midnight, that Hamlin had his heartbeat restored on the field after suffering from cardiac arrest.
ESPN reported at the time, “Bengals coach Zac Taylor walked over to Bills counterpart Sean McDermott and met with the game officials present. The decision was then made to temporarily pause the game, which the Bengals were leading 7-3, before the league ultimately chose to postpone it.”
Many folks watching the game, including myself and company, were flabbergasted at the idea of Damar’s distraught teammates being made to finish playing the remaining three quarters of the football game, as ESPN reported at the time. However, NFL executives now deny they ever intended on finishing out the game.
“What was most important was that it wasn’t about proceeding with the game,” said NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, during a conference call after midnight, according to ESPN.
“Frankly, that aspect never crossed my mind or their mind internally. We asked that [referee] Shawn [Smith] communicate with both Taylor and Coach McDermott getting the players together,” Vincent continued, “frankly, it was just about getting a pulse of where they were at that particular time.”
According to ESPN, “Vincent said that there was no discussion between him and commissioner Roger Goodell about a five-minute period for players to get warmed up and that resuming play did not cross their minds.”
Damar Hamlin’s family asked for continued prayers and thanked the nation for its support during this difficult time.
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country,” the family said in their Tuesday morning statement.
Damar’s uncle Dorian Glenn discussed being with and consoling Damar’s terrified 7 year old brother as they watched the game from his home in Pennsylvania, and more about the frightening state of his nephew’s current known condition, in the following heartbreaking interview by ESPN.
Like a bad movie, I can’t stop replaying in my mind, the image of him just falling back like that, after he arose onto his feet following a seemingly routine tackle. I almost can’t believe it really happened, but I know I saw it.
Being a mother myself, as I anxiously awaited any update on his condition, with the network repeatedly switching between coverage and commercials for what felt like forever. The entire time, I couldn’t stop thinking about this poor young man’s mother, and the immense amount of unfathomable, agonizing grief she must be experiencing.
I have to admit that as someone who came from an extraordinarily competitive, sports-loving family; in my 33 years of avidly watching all types of sporting events—I have never witnessed any player appear to drop dead during a game.
As I’m sure it did for many, it truly shocked me to my core to watch those nine excruciatingly long minutes of resuscitation on live television.
Unfortunately, it has been incredibly difficult for me to remain hopeful knowing he received CPR for a whopping nine minutes on the field and the tragic repercussions of a lack of oxygen to the human brain for extended periods of time.
SpinalCord.com says, “both cerebral hypoxia and anoxia are conditions that result from a lack of oxygen reaching or being absorbed by the brain.
However, the difference between the two has to do with the amount of oxygen in the equation. A hypoxic brain injury occurs when there is a reduced amount of oxygen reaching or being absorbed by the brain,” such as the result of a cardiac arrest like Hamlin. Alternatively, “anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain suffers from a complete lack of oxygen, or oxygen deprivation.”
In case you’re unaware of the importance of oxygen to your brain, according to the University of California Santa Barbara’s ScienceLine, “Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs through the body’s cardiovascular system and venous systems to the brain and the rest of the body. When something blocks or causes a stoppage or lack of blood flow […] it prevents this critical supply of oxygen from reaching the brain.“
In general, the brain can withstand up to three to six minutes without oxygen before brain damage occurs, but this may vary from person to person. If the brain goes without oxygen longer than this, serious and often irreversible damage is likely to take place. After ten minutes, severe neurological damage has generally occurred. Very few people regain any cognitive function after the brain has gone 15 or more minutes without oxygen.University of California Santa Barbara’s ScienceLine
Brain death can occur rapidly as cells begin to die off without any oxygen stores or new oxygen circulating to the brain. Almost immediately after oxygen intake has ceased, brain cells begin to perish. Before it occurs damage to the brain on some level, the brain usually only lasts a few short minutes without oxygen.
I guess I’m just glad the NFL commissioner ultimately made the morally right, compassionate decision to postpone the game.
Also, holy guacamole, do I have a difficult time watching manly men weep for legitimate reasons; it makes this empath cry like a baby every flippin time.
It’s an especially heartbreaking thought because I understand the type of tight-knit family your team becomes—seeing his teammates weep on that field was ridiculously painful.
Internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist, Dr. Peter A. McCullough
World renowned cardiologists, internist, and epidemiologist Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH gave the following statement to John Leach on Hamlin’s situation in an article on Dr. Peter McCullough’s Substack:
I watched the play live both as a fan and a cardiologist and I saw blunt neck and chest trauma, a brief recovery after the tackle and then a classic cardiac arrest. I have communicated to one of the most experienced trainers in the world and we agree that it was a cardiac arrest in the setting of a big surge of adrenalin. If Damar Hamlin indeed took one of the COVID-19 vaccines, then subclinical vaccine-induced myocarditis must be considered in the differential diagnosis. We have been told he was successfully defibrillated on the field and has been intubated and is not spontaneously breathing which is consistent with anoxic encephalopathy. The nation prays for his complete recovery.Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH
Steve Kirsch, Founder of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation
Steve Kirsch, unfortunately agreed with my opinion his Substack, stating that, “the medical experts I consulted believe that there is a high likelihood that Damar Hamlin was brain dead within 10 minutes after he dropped to the ground.”
Kirsch continued on to explain, “the primary reason for this conclusion is the 9 minutes of CPR. It is simply very rare for someone not to be brain dead at that point. Nobody I talked to has ever heard of such a case. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. It just means it is rare.”
Steve Kirsch, as well as myself, “pray that this is not the case,” but insists that, “we need to prepare for that possibility.”
Kirsch gave the example, “there was no news from the hospital that his brain was still alive. This would have been uplifting news to the crowd of people waiting outside the hospital, but it was never delivered. There were no reports anywhere that Hamlin’s brain was still functioning,” asking, “why would they withhold this information?”
One scenario Kirsch gave was that, “the vaccine could have created heart damage (myocarditis) leading to an enlarged heart event. An adrenaline surge could lead to a myocardial infarction where his heart could not be restarted.”
Aortic aneurysm is a well-known side-effect associated with the COVID ‘vaccine’:
Another scenario Kirsch gave was where, an “aortic rupture could then be triggered by a sudden impact.
The aorta carries blood away from the heart. A rupture here means blood would not be able to be pumped to his brain, even with CPR.
Defibrillation wouldn’t work either to restore blood flow to his brain. While they may be able to restart his heart, all that would do is create internal bleeding.”
Hemotologist and Oncologist Mark A. Lewis, MD
Dr. Mark A. Lewis, who took to Twitter with his medical opinion, thought Damar’s “collapse looked a lot like commotio cordis,” as he explains below:
Steve Kirsch also mentioned, “commotio cordis was Dr. McCullough’s initial thought, but then, after consultation with other experts, he ruled this out within the first hour,” stating, “the experts I talked to don’t think this is very likely.
If it was v-fib, the defibrillator should have worked and they wouldn’t have done 9 minutes of CPR. Commotio cordis is very rare and generally happens to younger people. Hamlin would NOT have been able to get up from his fall if it was due to cc [commotio cordis].”
Damar Hamlin’s Gofundme
If you are looking for ways to assist his family; Damar’s toy charity, The Chasing M’s Foundation’s gofundme has been temporarily redirected to assist his family with any necessary funds.
According to his fundraising page, “Damar created The Chasing M’s Foundation to use as a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community. The foundation supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more.”
Over the past couple of years, it appears that Damar Hamlin had raised over $350,000 for his community’s children through The Chasing M’s Foundation, with 100% of the proceeds going towards the purchase of toys for needy children; personally raising approximately $290,000. At 24 years old, he seemed to have his head on straight and his heart in the right place.
Pray for Damar Hamlin
If you haven’t already, please pray for Damar Hamlin’s miraculous recovery and for God to help his family get through this trying time, especially his baby brother who had to witness this horrific moment.
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