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Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin stresses need for more defibrillators in schools after near-death experience

On January 2, 2023, millions witnessed Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suddenly collapse on the field at Paycor Stadium after making a routine tackle. The moments that followed couldn’t be predicted by anyone, with Hamlin requiring CPR, including a defibrillator to resuscitate him back to life.

After going into cardiac arrest, Hamlin was rushed to the nearby University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he underwent a series of tests. Two days later, Hamlin awoke and finally started showing positive signs that he’d return to health. A day later, he was able to breathe under his own power. Then, a full week after he was taken to the hospital, Hamlin was finally discharged.

We later saw Hamlin make an appearance on Jan. 22 at the Bills’ Divisional Round game, which was his first public appearance since the incident. Of course, throughout all this, Hamlin received an overwhelming amount of public support, including millions in donations to his Chasing M’s Foundation toy drive.

Now, over two months after the near-death experience, Hamlin is in the news for different reasons, but this time it’s trying to raise awareness. Specifically, Hamlin would like to see more schools have access to defibrillators on-site.

How does Hamlin plan to accomplish this goal? It began with him visiting Capitol Hill on Wednesday, where he spoke to lawmakers in congress about improving schools’ access to automated external defibrillators, or AEDs.

“Sudden cardiac arrest happens to more than 7,000 kids under the age of 18 every year in our country. The majority of the kids impacted are student athletes. Research shows that 1 in every 300 youth has an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk.”

Damar Hamlin speaking to congress about getting more defibrillators in schools

Hamlin went on to add this key data point: “For schools that have AEDs, the survival rate for the children from sudden cardiac arrest is seven times higher.”

While Hamlin is going above and beyond off the football field, plans for his career on the football field were recently revealed as well. Whether or when he returns to the gridiron any time soon, Hamlin is already trying to make an impact in other areas of the world, and that’s incredible to see.

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