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Damar Hamlin; Prayers, Hope & Charity

If there's hope to be taken from the terrifying situation around Damar Hamlin and the life threatening inquiry he sustained recently, it comes straight from the Buffalo Bills safety's two-year-old GoFundMe. Two days after Hamlin's collapse and hospitalization caused the suspension of a "Monday Night Football" game, his only available public fundraiser has reached a total of $7 million. The original goal of the GoFundMe, set up to fund a toy drive in his hometown of McKees Rocks, PA., was $2,500.

Over 220,000 people have donated to the cause. Hamlin's representatives updated the GoFundMe page Wednesday, saying they were "awestruck at the support and generosity" shown over the past two days. They vowed to continue to update the fundraiser and said they were "hopeful about Damar's future involvement."

"As a mom of sons, my heart goes out to Damar's family as does so many fans around the country and the world, some of whom watched in disbelief, said Woodie Lesesne, President of Lesesne Media Group and it's media properties. "The scary feeling of what just happened" resonates she said. The fact that Damar's GoFundMe initiative has taken off is a clear message on how the fans feel about him and demonstrates that people want to do something to help. Supporting this charitable intiative is one way of paying it forward and amplifying Damar Hamlins voice and impact, Lesesne added.

Hamlin collapsed after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Yim described the incident as “being struck by lightning,” Chargers defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day said. “The chances of that happening was so minute,” Joseph-Day said. “It was just a freak accident.

The collision between Hamlin and Higgins “looked like an ordinary play — and that’s the scary part,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “This is a violent sport,” Mayfield said, “but that’s about broken bones and different injuries like that, not life and death, so this is something I think we’re all going through for the first time.” Learning about it, talking about it with your brothers and just praying for Damar, I think those things help athletes get through it.”

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It will be important to continue the dialogue, as athletes, like anyone else can suffer from depression due to trauma. Witnessing a fellow athlete experiencing such a devasting injury, can shake other players in ways that are not immediately evident. This is where the right support is crucial to the well being of everyone affected.

CPR was administered to Hamlin, 24, on the field Monday night for multiple minutes after he collapsed following his tackle of Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin received oxygen, according to the ESPN broadcast, as he was placed in the ambulance and taken off the field some 16 minutes after he collapsed. He then was driven to the hospital.

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1-5-23 Damar Hamlin UPDATE:

  • Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, 24, is still critically ill but has "shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours," the team said in an update Thursday.

  • Hamlin's medical team says he is on a ventilator, but he is able to write messages and hold hands with visiting family members.

  • Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field Monday night during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

  • Monday’s game was postponed and will not resume this week. The league has still not decided whether to continue the contest at all, a spokesperson said Thursday.


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