No. 3’s Miracle Story


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen displays his “Love for Damar” T-Shirt in support of Damar Hamlin. The safety went into cardiac arrest after receiving a hard hit from another player. He is recovering and cheering on his team from home.

Samuel Morillo, Staff Writer

The entire sports world came to a complete halt on Monday, January 2nd, in the first quarter of an NFL matchup between the Bengals and the Bills, when wide receiver Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals collided with Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Higgins lowered his shoulder and hit Hamlin square in the chest, a hit that can be witnessed on a regular basis at just about any football game, sometimes more than once.

   Seconds later, safety Damar Hamlin collapsed, suffering from a cardiac arrest, and having to be brought to life on the spot. A sports cliche of putting your life on the line for a sport became a reality on this night for the 24-year-old Hamlin. 

   Trainers and medics rushed to midfield as Damar Hamlin was seeing his short life slip away from him. The man to thank for Damar still being alive is Denny Kellington, a former Syracuse University Athletics member and the now assistant athletic trainer for the Buffalo Bills. He was the one who performed CPR on Damar and the reason that, as we speak, Hamlin is alive and breathing. The latest news that have been pushed out on Damar is that after miraculously being transferred to Buffalo, he was discharged from the hospital and has been given the green light to head back home, all of which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his teammates, friends and family, and of course, the medical staff who took care of him when he was at most need. 

   In the state of Florida, all high school football teams are required to have an athletic trainer. We, of course, have the highly praised Ms. Alongi taking care of all of our athletes. It’s always bound to happen, an injury, but “[Alongi] is one of the best trainers ever” expressed Justin Morales, sophomore offensive lineman on the Jaguars Football Team.

   “It’s truly traumatic, to feel like you hold somebody’s life in your hands and it is a huge privilege and duty that I do not take lightly” expressed Ms. Alongi, who has had a couple of experiences with life threatening injuries throughout her career. 

Ms. Alongi also spoke on the importance of school athletic trainers being well trained and well educated on all possible situations that could take place at any level of a sporting event. “The unfortunate truth is that this same thing could happen to anyone and all adults involved in school athletics should be prepared to assist in this kind of emergency”

   After something like this, a life-threatening injury, it’s bound to be in the head of any football player. Varsity running back/defensive back Keidran Willis Jr explained that “It’s really scary, because that was a normal, routine play… We’re in Florida, where you have to have medical care on the field, but other states, they don’t have that, so that’s a really scary thing.” 

   People all around the country have expressed their condolences, and people who may not be Bills fans or even watch the NFL regularly have still been deeply affected. After the incident, the Commissioner of the National Football League went on to cancel the game which many people believed to be the most beneficial for all parties, fans included. “Seeing a dude drop like that in the middle of a game, it does something to you. You can’t come back to play a football game right after something like that happens” mentioned member of the football team, Prashanth Mahendran, who as many others, experienced it live on television. 

The Bills did however, come back the next week and played a game against the New England Patriots, in which they had two kick returns for a touchdown and took home a great win for Hamlin. 

   All around the league and even other sports, players, coaches, and organizations have come together in support of Damar, his family, and the Bills organizations. Following the incident, players all around the league were seen wearing LOVE FOR DAMAR t-shirts with a big number three on the front. Among other organizations, the Miami Dolphins also lit their stadium lights blue and red, in support of the Bill’s community and of course, for Damar. 

Even organizations from other sports chimed in. The Cincinnati Reds, the professional baseball team in Cincinnati, displayed a large tribute on their scoreboard that can be seen from outside their stadium, which featured a picture of the player, and a large text that read “Prayers for Damar Hamlin”.

   “Everybody on any football team is a family. Even though they’re playing against each other, at the end of the day it’s still all love” was the way that Prashanth Mahendran could best explain it. “It’s truly beautiful how everybody can just put aside their rivalry and come together as one.”

   There’s no doubt that this was a traumatizing experience, for everyone that is tied with football and truly any sport. However, it’s clear that there is a silver lining to all of this. We saw trainers get recognition, players coming together as a family, and an immense amount of support from just about everyone that has ties to the world of athletics. Then, of course, above all else; Damar Hamlin is alive and he is home.