Damar Hamlin fought back tears on July 12 at the ESPY Awards as she honored the Buffalo Bills coaching staff for saving her life after suffering a concussion. heart attack on the field during a game in January.
The coaches accepted the Pat Tillman Service Award, which honors former Arizona Cardinals standout Pat Tillman, who died in Afghanistan after leaving the NFL to enlist in the Army following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Hamlin received a standing ovation when he walked out on stage, which brought him to tears.
“Please welcome this year’s recipient of the Pat Tillman Service Award: the Buffalo Bills coaching staff,” he said during the ceremony.
On January 2, Hamlin collapsed and his heart stopped while making a tackle during his team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The game would be cancelled, and Hamlin’s story made national news while he was recovering from the episode.
Head coach Nate Breske accepted the award, along with the rest of the Bills’ coaching staff.
“Damar, first of all, thanks for staying alive, brother,” he said as he delivered his speech.
Breske also said she hopes Hamlin’s story can raise awareness about cardiac emergencies.
«If there’s anything we hope you take away from this tonight, learn CPR and how to use an AED because it saves lives,» he said. “You don’t have to be perfect. We always say that doing something is better than doing nothing.
Hamlin, who appeared in the super bowl with the lifeguards and medical personnel who saved him, he has not played since his cardiac arrest, although he does plans to return after he went authorized to do so in April.
He is also still very aware of how lucky is to be alive.
«Life is a precious gift. It’s a blessing to see another birthday. I can’t begin to explain the feelings,» he said. wrote on Instagram when the turned 25 in March. «(E) Even if I could, you probably wouldn’t know the half of it… But today I’m going to enjoy this one a bit more!»