Hamlin’s Health

The Impact of Damar Hamlin’s Injury


Helping Those in Need: Damar Hamlin running The Chasing M’s Foundation and providing less fortunate children in his community with toys. Photo courtesy: GoFundMe.

   On January 2, 2023, in the first quarter of a Monday Night Football matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after standing back up from a tackle. He was immediately treated by medical professionals, while players from the Bills took a knee around him to give him privacy, visibly shaken up. 

   Hamlin had suffered cardiac arrest from colliding with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins and was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

   Luckily, Hamlin is making a steady recovery, but this incident is far bigger than most football related injuries.  The accident left many wondering why a young and healthy man, such as Hamlin went into cardiac arrest?

   During the tackle, it didn’t appear that Hamlin had suffered such a severe impact with the other player. The incident was due to a rare phenomenon called Commotio Cordis. This heart condition is usually caused by athletic activities and sports such as football, hockey, baseball and martial arts, where athletes are susceptible to blows or impacts to the chest. 

   According to anatomy and physiology teacher Mrs. Emily Lockhart, “What experts are saying right now is that a blow to Hamlin’s chest causes an arrhythmia. This means that the electrical activity of his heart was interrupted.”

   She continues, “Without a steady electrical rhythm, the heart cannot contract and pump blood effectively.  That means that the blood cannot deliver oxygen to the brain, which is one reason why he passed out.”

   This horrific accident brought to light the supportive nature of Hamlin’s teammates and community. After Hamlin collapsed on the field, both Bills and Bengals players came together to pray for his well-being. This was a vulnerable moment for the NFL that demonstrated the true danger and risk of playing football.  Due to the overwhelming concern for Hamlin’s health, the game was canceled.

   Many NFL players, coaches, and fans tweeted after the game, hoping for Hamlin’s recovery.  ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky even held an on-air prayer for him, in which he observed a moment of silence. People also supported Hamlin by donating to his charity, known as The Chasing M’s Foundation.

   According to the article “Bills announce formalization of Damar Hamlin charity, donations rise to over $8.6M,” from Fox Business, “Hamlin started The Chasing M’s Foundation when he was in college at the University of Pittsburgh.  The first order of business was to launch a toy drive in 2020 for his community.”