(CINCINNATI) — Health providers from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who cared for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin after he collapsed from cardiac arrest were honored with the key to the city.
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval presented the key to the city during a ceremony on Thursday morning to providers on behalf of the care staff in different departments and specialties who contributed to the care and recovery of the Bills’ safety.
Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field on Jan. 2 at Paycor Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football during the first quarter, team officials said. Medical professionals immediately rushed to give him aid on the field and restarted his heart.
Hamlin was hospitalized in the critical care unit at UC Medical Center and was on a ventilator after the incident. His breathing tube was removed and he was released after nine days.
“What is so incredibly special is that, while Damar Hamlin’s case was noteworthy due to it being on national television, it was not noteworthy for the care that he got,” Pureval said in a press release. “Every single person, whether they are a professional athlete or someone just off the street, receives the same kind of exceptional, first-in-class care. We are so grateful for your heroic work, day in and day out.”
Hamlin has himself expressed gratitude to the UCMC staff for his care and tweeted that he planned to donate proceeds from his shirt sale to first responders and the UC Trauma center.
We all won 🏾.
I want to give back an ounce of the love y’all showed me. Proceeds of this shirt will go to first-responders and the UC Trauma Center.
Go get yours!https://t.co/YoDbBo6bzs pic.twitter.com/BQ6HHv5woF
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 8, 2023
“As our community’s only adult Level I Trauma Center, UC Medical Center is uniquely equipped to provide and coordinate the highest level of complex care,” Rob Wiehe, UC Health and Chief Administrative Officer, said in a statement to ABC News. “These outstanding teams take pride in providing advanced medical care to every member of our community who needs us every day. We thank you for recognizing them.”
In addition to the key ceremony, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital received $10,000 worth of toys from Fisher-Price and Mattel, both toy companies that have partnerships with the Bills organization.
Cincinnati Children’s said it would sort and distribute the toys throughout the center to each child receiving care at the medical center.
Hamlin, since his discharge, visited teammates around the Bills facility and attended their AFC Divisional Playoff matchup at Highmark Stadium, where they faced the Bengals again on Jan. 22.
The Bills lost 27-10, ending their season.
Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s longtime friend and business partner, said in an interview with ESPN he still has a long way to go in his recovery but Hamlin remains “upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this.”
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