Damar Hamlin Tearfully Awards Buffalo Bills Staffers Who Saved His Life At Espys
Damar Hamlin, the NFL player whose heart stopped in the middle of a January game against the Cincinnati Bengals, tearfully presented the Pat Tillman Award for Service at this week’s 2023 ESPYS to the the Buffalo Bills staffers who saved his life.
The award, established in 2014, is named after the late NFL player and veteran Pat Tillman, who died in 2004 while on a tour in Afghanistan. The Bills safety shared that what he learned most from the ordeal was about human connection and a desire to help someone whose life depends on it.
Really been an emotional journey.. that video & a room full of greatness did it for me.. 🏾 https://t.co/h1t7766K5P
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) July 13, 2023
“Any of us, at any given time, are capable of doing something as incredible as saving a life, and living a life in service of others,” Hamlin said in a video preceding the presentation, which moved the 25-year-old to tears.
After a standing ovation from the crowd of celebrities and athletes, the staffers joined Hamlin on stage to receive the award. Bills head trainer Nate Breske expressed his admiration for Hamlin.
“Damar, first and foremost, thank you for staying alive, brother,” Breske said. “Seriously, we are so honored to be standing up here with such a strong and courageous human being.” He also urged teams and the general population to engage in widespread CPR training; the lifesaving procedure was significantly helpful in reviving Hamlin.
Hamlin’s collapse during the nationally televised Monday Night Football game, the last game of the week, shocked the sports world, but inspired prayers across the nation for the health and well-being of the young player.
Since the incident, Hamlin has been cleared to play football and has been attending and participating in practices. The Bills’ preseason starts August 11; the team’s regular season starts September 11 against the New York Jets, a division rival.