On-Field Cardiac Arrest Survivor, Damar Hamlin, Marks 1-Year Anniversary with Heart Tattoo

Damar Hamlin Celebrates One-Year Anniversary Since Miraculous Survival From Cardiac Arrest

It has been exactly one year since Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, suffered a terrifying cardiac arrest during a game. To commemorate this miraculous survival, Hamlin has done something special.

The frightening incident occurred during the Bills’ week 17 game on January 2, 2023, in an AFC playoff match against the Cincinnati Bengals. In the first quarter of the game, Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. However, shortly after making the tackle, Hamlin collapsed, prompting the Bills’ assistant athletic trainer, Denny Kellington, to immediately begin performing CPR on Hamlin.

After receiving CPR and automated external defibrillation (AED), the 25-year-old athlete was taken off the field by ambulance and went to UC Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition for an extended amount of time. According to Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin had to be resuscitated twice and was put on a ventilator to help with his breathing after sustaining damage to his lungs following the game tackle. It was later revealed that Hamlin went into cardiac arrest.

Four days after his cardiac arrest episode, Hamlin woke up and was able to communicate with family and teammates. On the anniversary of his on-field health scare, Hamlin was seen on the Instagram page of celebrity tattoo artist Alexander Brenes. Hamlin was posing with Brenes, and the second slide featured a black-and-white photo of the duo mid-tattoo session. The final image showed off Hamlin’s new tattoo: two hands forming a heart around an electrocardiogram.

He also reflected on his health scare anniversary in a message on the GoFundMe page created to benefit a toy drive sponsored by his Chasing M’s Foundation. The message thanked supporters for their generosity and described the growth of his charity over the past year. He also highlighted his foundation’s charitable efforts, such as hosting community events and launching a scholarship program.

In August 2023, seven months after going into cardiac arrest, Hamlin made his triumphant return to the gridiron. He appeared in the Buffalo Bills’ preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he made his first tackle in the first quarter.

In October, Hamlin took the field in a regular-season NFL game for the first time since the January incident.

In his first in-depth interview since his NFL comeback, Hamlin told GQ Sports that his return to the field is fueled by a desire to stay in the game for himself. He shared that he constantly battles the fear that he could collapse again but is actively working with therapists to navigate these challenges.

Amidst the fears and challenges, Hamlin remains resolute in his return to the field. “I ain’t doing this s**t for nobody and I ain’t finna start. This is all me within myself, me living my life for what I want to do. I know what I stand for, and I know what I preach. And I know the magnitude of what happened and how many people was affected. But, at the end of the day, this is the choice I made for myself. I ain’t make this choice for nobody else. I understand what it means to the world, but this is a personal decision. I’m living my life.”

The courage and determination displayed by Damar Hamlin have undoubtedly inspired countless others, and his story serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

As news of Hamlin’s remarkable journey continues to captivate and inspire audiences, many eagerly anticipate his future successes on and off the field.