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Damar Hamlin, safety for the Buffalo Bills, had the privilege of bestowing the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2023 ESPYS upon the Buffalo Bills training staff, who were responsible for saving his life.
During the first quarter of the Bills January 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Damar Hamlin went into immediate cardiac arrest after making a tackle.
On that day, thousands of fans packed in the Paycor Stadium and millions of fans at home were shocked as medical personnel hurried to the field to save Damar’s life.
Months later on July 13, Damar was able to display his grace and appreciation to that staff in the Dolby Theatre at the ESPYS. Nathan Breske, the team’s head athletic trainer said at the award show that it was the “best outcome we could’ve prayed for or imagined.”
Nathan Breske then thanked the “massive army of specialists who came together on and off the field to do their jobs that night,” which includes the Bills and Bengals athletic training and medical staff, mental health clinicians, paramedics, and others that helped on that day and after Damar’s collapse.
Breske thanked Damar for “staying alive” and added “We are so honored to be standing next to such a strong, courageous human being.”
In April, Hamlin was cleared to resume football activities.
This makes one of the most remarkable recoveries the world of sports has seen to date.
Damar Hamlin’s journey from cardiac arrest on the field to honoring the Pat Tillman Award for Service with the Buffalo Bills training staff is a testament to the power of resilience and teamwork.
As Nathan Breske expressed his gratitude for the collective efforts of medical personnel, mental health clinicians, and countless others, it is clear that their unwavering dedication played a pivotal role in Damar’s remarkable recovery.
Today, Hamlin stands tall as a symbol of strength and courage, reminding us all of the indomitable spirit that can emerge from the face of unforeseen adversity in the world of sports and beyond.