Outpouring of prayers for NFL player Damar Hamlin from Catholic high school, fellow players
Boston, Mass., Jan 3, 2023 / 12:30 pm
Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin, in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest during an NFL football game Monday night, is receiving an outpouring of prayers and support from his Catholic high school in Pittsburgh, his former college, and from players around the league.
“The Central Catholic High School community is praying for the well-being and swift recovery of Damar Hamlin, ‘16 (Buffalo Bills). May the Lord be with him and his family during this most difficult time,” Central Catholic High School said in a Jan. 2 Facebook post.
A tweet Monday from the University of Pittsburgh Football team, where the 24-year-old Hamlin played in college, said: “Damar Hamlin is the best of us. We love you, 3. Praying for you.”
Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted Monday: “Please pray for our brother.”
Cal Adomitis, a longtime friend of Hamlin’s and long snapper for the Bengals, was on the field during the incident, according to the Beaver County Times. Adomitis and Hamlin played together in both high school and college.
Several other current and former players from around the league said they were praying for Hamlin, some of whom included Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, and former quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow.
Late in the first quarter of the away game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Hamlin tackled an opposing receiver, Tee Higgins. Higgins led with his shoulder into Hamlin’s chest before being brought to the ground. In videos of the injury, Hamlin can be seen standing up after the tackle, and then collapsing straight back.
In a statement Tuesday, the Bills said that Hamlin suffered from cardiac arrest after the hit. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was brought to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in an ambulance, the Bills said.
Hamlin received CPR while on the field and was brought off on a stretcher, according to NFL.com. Hamlin is sedated and listed in critical condition, the statement said.
The game was suspended and postponed after the incident. As the ambulance departed, Bills players and staff were seen kneeling on the field and praying for Hamlin, CBS news reported.
In an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday morning, Jordon Rooney, a spokesperson for Hamlin’s family, said that Hamlin was conscious before being sedated.
“He’s fighting. He is a fighter,” Rooney said, adding that fans had been visiting the hospital praying for Hamlin.
Hamlin has raised money through his foundation Chasing M’s, which he has used in the past to run two annual toy drives on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. That GoFundMe page, which has a stated goal of $2,500, had raised more than $3.6 million by Tuesday afternoon.
For the toy drive, Hamlin wrote: “As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from, and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me.”
At around noon on Tuesday, the Hamlin family issued a statement through Rooney’s Twitter account.
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country,” the statement says. The full statement can be read below.
Hamlin, of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School and was named the state’s Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year while there.
The 6-foot-1, 201-pound defensive back was a star athlete at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was named a captain. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.