Heroic Man Who Revived Damar Hamlin Identified

By Jason Hall

January 5, 2023

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Photo: Getty Images

Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins identified assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington as the heroic man who revived safety Damar Hamlin after he suffered cardiac arrest on the field during the team's now-postponed game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"Denny Kellington let’s praise this name and person for reviving Our Brother Damar on the field," Dawkins tweeted on Thursday (January 5). "Denny gave CPR and chest compressions to get his Heart Back Beating #DennyKellington And also thank you to all the doctors and Medical professionals that have helped and assisted 3."

Hamlin collapsed suddenly on the field during Monday's (January 3) game and was hospitalized, which the Bills later said was due to cardiac arrest.

Hamlin was reported to have "shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours," the Bills confirmed in an update shared on their official Twitter account Thursday morning.

"Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours," the Bills wrote. "While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.

"We are grateful for the love and support we have received."

Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam also provided a positive update on Hamlin's status.

"Our boy is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement," Elam tweeted. Thank you God. Keep the prayers coming please. All love 3!"

Hamlin was reported to have "opened his eyes last night and is responsive," while adding that he was "gripping the hand of those close to him," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday (January 5).

"One thing that's very clear from speaking to those close to him: They are endlessly appreciative of the medical care given to Hamlin on the field immediately, then over the last 72 hours," Rapoport tweeted.

Hamlin's family also described his current status as a "remarkable improvement" and confirmed he was "neurologically intact," according to NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe.

On Wednesday (January 4), the team said Hamlin was showing "signs of improvement," though still "remains in the ICU in critical condition."

Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of Monday's game and got back to his feet before suddenly falling to the ground. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.

The second-year safety was reported to be critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed in an official statement on behalf of the league shared Monday night that also confirmed the official postponement of the game.

"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills," the NFL said in its statement. "We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Both teams were at midfield when Hamlin was taken away in the ambulance. Hamlin's family was with him when he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which is located about two miles from Paycor Stadium.

The 24-year-old fell to the ground at around 8:55 p.m. and ESPN diverted its live broadcast from the field to the studio at around 9:08 p.m.

The game was temporarily suspended at 9:17 p.m. before being officially suspended nearly an hour later.

Hamlin was selected by the Bills at No. 212 overall in the sixth-round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 24-year-old started in 13 of the 15 games he appeared in and recorded 91 tackles, six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks during his second season.

A GoFundMe page initially launched by Hamlin as part of a toy drive has raised more than $7 million since his hospitalization, far exceeding the charity's initial goal of $2,500.

An update shared on Tuesday clarified that further contributions would go toward Hamlin's ongoing medical battle.

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