Will Damar Hamlin Play Again? He Wouldn't Be the First After Waking from Cardiac Arrest Episode


Will Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin ever play in the NFL again after suffering cardiac arrest on Monday during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals?

There is precedent for the return of a top-level athlete after such an experience.

In June 2021, Danish soccer player Christian Eriksen was playing for his national team against Finland when he collapsed on the field, according to the Daily Mail.

“Instantly it became clear how serious the incident was. He, essentially, died on the pitch and was brought back to life thanks to rapid and urgent resuscitation with the use of a defibrillator,” the outlet reported.

Ericksen, 30, made a full recovery. Doctors later fitted him with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. He returned to professional soccer with the famed Manchester United club in England.

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In November, Eriksen played for Denmark in his third World Cup.

“I think [the near-death experience] gave me … the appreciation of being alive and being with my family. And I think everything else is just moved to the side,” he told reporters ahead of the tournament, according to CNN.

Do you think Hamlin will ever play again?

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center gave an encouraging update on Hamlin’s condition Thursday, saying he is awake and responsive.

“Did we win?” Hamlin scribbled on a clipboard, according to Dr. Timothy Pritts.

“Yes, Damar, you won. You’ve won the game of life,” Pritts said he responded.

Pritts said Hamlin is still in critical condition, but has improved substantially in the last 24 hours.

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“It appears that his neurological condition and function is intact,” the doctor added.

Hamlin was able to hold hands with members of his family, agent Ron Butler said.

Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins praised the team’s training staff for giving Hamlin the immediate treatment he needed on the field to keep him alive Monday night.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen shared that receiving positive updates about his teammate’s condition “eases so much of that pain and that tension that you feel.”

Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, whom Hamlin tackled prior to going into cardiac arrest, told reporters that Hamlin’s mom has been texting him with updates.

“It makes me feel better inside” knowing he’s improving, Higgins said.

He added that he smiled when he learned Hamlin asked doctors who won the game.

“That’s probably something I would’ve asked,” Higgins said.

Bengals offensive guard Ted Karras agreed, remarking, “What a legendary thing to say.”

“My spirit felt restored when we got that news before we went out to practice today,” he continued. “I had been thinking and praying. I just wanted to get the news that he was up and communicating.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith