Damar Hamlin’s Miracle Heart


Wyatt Langway '25 & Davis Callaway '25, Writer(s)

Recently, Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin was struck in the chest during the game and suddenly collapsed. Within seconds he went into cardiac arrest and was put through CPR by assistant trainer Denny Kellington. He gave Damar CPR for over 15 minutes and doctors stated that he saved Damar’s life. Following those 15 crucial minutes, Damar was rushed to the emergency room via ambulance. When Damar gained consciousness he asked the doctors through writing, “Did we win?”. The doctors replied, “you won the game of life”.  Damar has improved tremendously since the accident and continues to get better. The NFL has also involved itself and has been supporting Damar and his family. Players in the NFL have been wearing shirts to support Damar in his recovery and teams painted the number 3 on their field to show support. Damar’s charity, The Chasing M’s Foundation, has been the recipient of many financial donations from people around the world. 

There have been a few other similar events in other sports. Peter Laake, a high school lacrosse player for Loyola Blakefield in Maryland was hit in the chest with an oncoming shot. Peter went under cardiac arrest and was later diagnosed with commotio chordis, which causes sudden cardiac arrest in a healthy heart. According to the US Commotio Cordis Registry, it is fatal 75% of the time. Like Damar Hamlin, Peter was quickly administered to by the athletic trainer Jeremy Parr who revived him with an AED. Without the life-saving treatment, the outcome of the situation could have been much worse, particularly as the chance of survival goes down by 10% each minute. US lacrosse had long advocated for AEDs to be required in every field and took their protection further by requiring every chest protector to meet NOCSAE requirements with a large pad on the front of the chest to prevent commotio chordis. In the past few years, the NFL has updated helmet safety protocols because of the discovery of CTE in former NFL players and other dangerous head injuries like concussions. So this raises the question if they too, will make safer chest protectors for their players.