Prayers continued to go up for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin as the beloved 24-year-old NFL player remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday morning after suffering a cardiac arrest that caused him to collapse during a live broadcast of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night.
Hamlin collapsed at the 5:58 mark during the first quarter of the game at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.
The Buffalo Bills confirmed in a statement issued at 1:48 a.m. that Hamlin’s collapse at the stadium was due to “a cardiac arrest” but his heartbeat was “restored on the field” before he was hospitalized.
"Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in the Buffalo Bills' game versus the Cincinnati Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition,” the team said in their statement in which they also asked that “all of the sports world continue to pray for his recovery.”
A statement from the NFL said the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game was postponed after Hamlin’s collapse with support from the NFL Players Association.
“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills,” the statement noted.
The majority of the Bills team, which dropped to their knees in prayer for Hamlin as the emergency unfolded. An image posted on Twitter of the team praying on the field had been viewed more than 42 million times as of Tuesday morning. Several players were also recorded in tears in their immediate reaction to Hamlin’s collapse.
The team remained at Paycor Stadium well into Monday night, ESPN reported, and left the stadium shortly after midnight and returned to Buffalo where New York politicians like Gov. Kathy Hochul and Sen. Chuck Schumer offered prayers.
Fans of both the Bills and Bengals were also recorded at the Cincinnati Medical Center praying for Hamlin’s recovery.
In another gesture of goodwill from fans, donations have also been pouring in to a Gofundme campaign Hamlin started in December 2020 to raise money for a community toy drive. This was months before he was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL by the Buffalo Bills.
“As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me,” the 24-year-old wrote on the campaign which as of Tuesday morning had raised more than $3.5 million – well over his initial $2,500 goal. “I created The Chasing M's Foundation as a vehicle that will allow me to deliver that impact, and the first program is the 2020 Community Toy Drive.”
Hamlin further explained that his mother, Nina, would distribute the toys at a daycare center she runs.
Nina was reportedly at the stadium when her son collapsed and she traveled with him to the hospital.