In the hours after Damar Hamlin suddenly collapsed on the field during a Monday night football game, donations from hundreds of thousands of people poured in to an online toy drive fundraiser created by the Buffalo Bills safety.
Hamlin, 24, suffered cardiac arrest with just minutes remaining in the first quarter in the Bills faceoff with the Cincinnati Bengals. He received medical treatment on the field, with first responders administering CPR for nearly 10 minutes, before he was rushed to the nearby University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which is a Level I trauma hospital.
The game-ending incident came shortly after Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins — though he seemingly took the brunt of the hit to his chest. Seconds after the play ends, Hamlin can be seen hopping back up to his feet and then adjusting his helmet before falling backwards onto the ground.
As football fans nationwide awaited updates on Hamlin’s condition, a GoFundMe page created by Hamlin in December 2022 was flooded with millions in donations. The Bills safety wrote that he created the fundraiser to help purchase toys for children hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” Hamlin wrote on the fundraiser’s description.
“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.”
According to a cached version of the web page, Hamlin’s GoFundMe had received $2,921 in donations — topping its goal of $2,500 — in the two-year span through December 2022. In the hour after Hamlin’s collapse, the donation total topped $700,000.
As of Tuesday morning, nearly 130,000 people have come together to donate more than $3.3 million.
In an overnight update, the Bills said Hamlin’s “heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”
With News Wire Services