Last night, during the Bills-Bengals game, Damar Hamlin got hit in the upper chest and then, rather than just shaking it off, collapsed in a heap on the field. Kyle Becker, tweeting about the injury, said:
One of the freaky things about the Damar Hamlin hit is that it looked so routine. Blow to the upper chest. Slight glance off the helmet. Then he stands up and completely collapses. Disturbing stuff. #PrayersforHamlin 🙏
Watch the video of the injury here:
One of the freaky things about the Damar Hamlin hit is that it looked so routine. Blow to the upper chest. Slight glance off the helmet. Then he stands up and completely collapses. Disturbing stuff. #PrayersforHamlin 🙏 pic.twitter.com/YhO09uPpZO
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) January 3, 2023
Later in the evening, Damar’s “friend and marketing rep,” Jordan Rooney, said:
Update on Damar:
His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently running tests.
We will provide updates as we have them.
Source is me – His friend and marketing rep.
The responses to Rooney’s update tweet were touching, with people saying things like:
“When he wakes up, be sure to tell him that he brought America together and we are all praying together for him.”
“Thank you for sharing information. So many people are rooting so hard for him. Sending love to Damar, his family, and all that are blessed to know him.”
“This is good news. Praying for him to have a full recovery.”
“United in prayer for complete healing in Jesus name. Be with his Mom Lord. His team, doctors & nurses lifted🏾💔🙏🏾”
“This is positive news 🙏🏾 Sounds like his blood pressure & heart rate have stabilized. Intubation, sedation, and being placed on a ventilator are normal steps after a cardiac arrest. Thank goodness they were able to perform #CPR right away. Next 24-48 hours will be critical”
“He’s gonna make it brother ! One of my son had a similar situation. All my best thoughts to him. All love ! 🙌🏼❤️”
After the chaos of Damar’s shocking injury had calmed down, people started looking at what had happened and what ailment or injury Damar might have suffered from. Bernard Ashby, a vascular cardiologist and Cornell Med School professor, argued that Damar got hit in the wrong place at the wrong time and so suffered from commotio cordis, which is where the heart is stopped by a blow to the chest at a certain moment in the heart’s electrical cycle. In his words:
The video of Damar Hamlin from a cardiologist’s perspective resembled commotio cordis – a phenomenon that occurs when a sudden blunt impact to the chest causes cardiac arrest.
Timely defibrillation is life saving & prevents anoxic brain injury. I pray an AED was near.
Peter Antall, a pediatrician, disagreed and argued that the cause was actually a malignant arrhythmia, saying, in response to Ashby “I doubt it. Meaningless tackle. This looks like a malignant arrhythmia. It has happened twice in European football in the last 20 years. Fabrice Muamba at Portsmouth. Then Cristian Eriksen for Denmark. Both survived. But only because of quick intervention.”
The official Buffalo Bills Twitter account, for its part, tweeted “Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”
Featured image credit: screenshot from embedded Twitter video