Bills’ Damar Hamlin OK to play after suffering cardiac arrest

Alaina GetzenbergESPN4 minute read

Damar Hamlin: I plan to make a comeback to the NFL

Bills safety Damar Hamlin declares his intention to resume his professional football career.

ORCHARD PARK, NY — Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been fully cleared to return to football, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane said Tuesday.

Hamlin saw his last specialist on Friday and is in attendance and participating in voluntary workouts with the Bills this week.

“He’s completely clear, he’s here and he’s got the mindset; he’s in a good mindset to come back and make a comeback,” Beane said.

The Bills began their voluntary offseason program on Monday.

The announcement comes 3½ months after Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during the first quarter of the Jan. 2 “Monday Night Football” regular season game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Beane said Hamlin had visited various specialists since returning from Cincinnati and they were all in agreement on his case and his ability to fully return to football.

“When he left Cincinnati, he came here, it was Buffalo General (Hospital),” Beane said. “He’s seen a few specialists here in Buffalo, and then since then he’s seen three more specialists, most recently on Friday, and they’re all okay. It’s not 2-1 or 3-1 or something. like that. They’re all aware of what it was and that he’s cleared, back to full activity like anybody else coming back from injury or whatever.”

Hamlin said in February he hoped to return to the field.

“Eventually. That’s always the goal, like I said, as a competitor, you know, I try to do things to keep advancing my situation,” Hamlin told Michael Strahan in a interview aired on Fox during the Super Bowl LVII pre-game. to show. “But I allow it to be in God’s hands. I’m just grateful that he gave me a second chance.”

Bills coach Sean McDermott said the team will continue to support Hamlin from a mental health perspective.

“He’s taking it one step at a time here,” McDermott said. “He has been cleared from a physical standpoint, and we will provide all possible mental help from a mind, body and spirit standpoint.”

Last month, Hamlin spent time in Washington, DC, to help promote bipartisan AED access legislation that would increase the availability of automated external defibrillators — and related training — on school campuses. He also met President Joe Biden at the White House.

The NFL has launched the Smart Heart Sports Coalition, a collaboration with several groups to advocate for policies in all 50 states aimed at preventing the fatal consequences of sudden cardiac arrest in high school athletes. The coalition’s goal is to pass state-level legislation and implement these policies within the next three years, and the group has sent letters to governors of 43 states where it believes additional policies are necessary.

Hamlin has had a busy few months, including receiving the NFLPA’s highest honor, the Alan Page Community Award, for his work helping others. His Chasing M’s foundation raised more than $9 million in the days following his hospitalization, with much of the money going through GoFundMe for a toy drive with an original goal of $2,500.

“It’s nice when great things happen to great people,” Bills setter Von Miller said. “With everything that happened, he took full advantage of it, and he used the platform that he got from the exposure of everything that happened, and he used it to good. And not just once but many times. He went to the White House. He talks to the kids like, he took full advantage of the opportunity that God gave him, and to see him be allowed to play football again, because I know all of that, even though it’s great, but it’s just really, for him, and I’m just speaking for him, it’s really secondary to go out there and live his childhood dream. “

Hamlin was also recognized alongside Bills and Bengals medical and athletic coaching staff and select University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff in NFL honors and on the field ahead of Super Bowl LVII.

“It’s exciting to go from a guy who was fighting for his life to who is now, his story hasn’t been written,” said Beane, who spent several days in hospital with Hamlin and his wife. family. “Now it’s about coming back, and so, seeing him, it was all about his health and it’s always, it’s always going to be about his health, but for really, even many months later , talking about him being completely erased is pretty remarkable.And I’m thrilled for him and his family where they are at on this journey.

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