ABOVE: Damar Hamlin shares a photo from the hospital to his Twitter
Did we win?
Those were the first words written by Damar Hamlin, Buffalo Bills safety, after regaining consciousness.
The doctors said, “Yes, Damar, you won. You won the game of life.”
During a Monday Night Football game on January 2nd, Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after making a tackle on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.
Watching this unfold on national prime time television was shocking and unnerving.
My immediate reaction was that it was concussion-related.
If you recall just a few weeks ago, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got up after being hit on a play and then fell back to the ground.
By the reaction of the players, this was a life-threatening matter that needed immediate and direct attention.
I have watched professional football for many years and what happened a few nights ago was a first for me.
As we later found out from broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, this had never before happened.
On the field reporter, Lisa Salters, provided much needed updates for television viewers as well.
The football world stopped in its tracks and came to a screeching halt.
First downs and touchdowns did not matter. Offsides and onside kicks were of no importance.
The only thing that mattered was the life of Damar Hamlin.
When the game was halted, the Bengals were leading 7-3 in the first quarter, yet the players didn’t have that on their minds.
Men were emotional and on their knees praying for Damar Hamlin and his life, not as a football player, but as a person.
The responses by the medical professionals and the training staffs were timely. They knew what they were doing.
Credit the National Football League (NFL) for having the resources there to provide the necessary assistance that Damar Hamlin needed.
As football fans, I don’t think we appreciate how comprehensive the NFL is when it comes to emergency situations.
By any barometer, this was a medical emergency that required quick thinking and intentional action.
One Buffalo Bills athletic trainer is being singled out for high praise.
Head coach Sean McDermott gave assistant athletic trainer Danny Kellington praise for “saving Damar’s life.”
It was Kellington who administered CPR to Damar Hamlin who had lost his pulse on the field.
Coach McDermott said, “For an assistant to find himself at that position and needing to take the action that he did and step up and take charge like he did, and there were others on the field as well, is nothing short of amazing.”
These comments were made at a news conference on January 5th.
I believe America had a restless night on that Monday night, as we watched Damar Hamlin being taken off the field to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Late last week, the breathing tube was removed, and now Damar Hamlin is breathing on his own.
The emotional highs and lows of this football story are gut-wrenching.
People not associated with football have given their prayers and support.
There has been an immediate kinship with him, as if he is our own brother or cousin.
My days recently have started out with a daily update on Damar Hamlin.
His daily prognosis was a major factor in how the rest of my day was going to go.
In my opinion, the NFL placed all remaining games on standby, because they were not sure about the direction and what they would do.
The power of prayer has been a healing factor, as Damar Hamlin has continued to improve.
As believers, we know that prayer warriors were asking for healing for this young man.
So now, there is daylight on the horizon and his health is being restored.
Rest assured that God was in that hospital room guiding the hands of the doctors as they worked over Damar Hamlin.
Let us continue to pray for him.