It’s Sam’s Turn: Sports world unites around Damar Hamlin – Alexandria Echo Press

It’s Sam’s Turn: Sports world unites around Damar Hamlin – Alexandria Echo Press

To be honest with you all, I had no idea who Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was until he went into cardiac arrest during a football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2, 2023.

But the more I’ve learned about him since then, the more I’ve come to understand what a good man he is and how much love he’s spread over the nearly 25 years of his life.

Obviously, I don’t know him intimately or anything, but that’s the opinion I’ve formed from researching him and what he’s done.

To learn more about him, I found his GoFundMe fundraiser, The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive. The fundraiser says the proceeds go toward buying toys for children in need. Fundraising began in 2020, as Hamlin was set to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh and enter the 2021 NFL draft.

The fundraiser began with the goal of raising $2,500.

As I write this piece, people have donated $8,753,040 to the fundraiser.

This was one of the many ways in which the sports community and indeed people in general rallied around the McKees Rock, Pennsylvania, native.

My words will certainly not describe the seriousness of this situation in a perfect way. Instead, I encourage you all to find online videos of Ryan Clark, Scott Van Pelt, Booger McFarland and others who really did a great job of understanding this situation and handling it in a very empathetic way. There’s no manual on how to handle these kinds of things in the media, and it’s a difficult thing to do.

This was personally the scariest thing I can remember watching on television in my 23 years of life.

For those of you who may not know the latest update, Hamlin was sedated and on a ventilator once he arrived at the University of Cincinnati Hospital that night in critical condition. But with the hard work of the UC hospital staff, along with the Buffalo Bills’ coaching staff (who administered CPR to him on the field in Cincinnati) and every medical person involved – and with some help from above, I’m sure – Hamlin’s condition improved. He woke up on January 5 and began communicating with doctors and others. He was released on Monday, January 9 and discharged to Buffalo General Hospital.

At the time of this writing, he is in stable condition and undergoing further tests.

With that being said, I would like to thank all the nurses, doctors, athletic trainers, or really any first responders or anyone in the medical field for what they do. I can’t imagine how stressful their jobs are and I’m sure it’s 10 times more stressful and difficult than we could ever imagine. But they are essential and they are superheroes.

I also want to add that we should continue to keep Damar in our hearts, thoughts and prayers, along with his family, friends, loved ones and anyone going through a similar situation.

And finally, tell the people you care about that you love them. Remind them of this every day through your words and actions.

It’s Our Turn is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

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