Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin visited Capitol Hill Wednesday in support of an important cause.
Hamlin’s life was saved thanks to the swift action of medical personnel and a portable defibrillator when he went into cardiac arrest on the field during a Monday Night Football game in January.
Hamlin spoke on Capitol Hill in support of the AED Access Act. The House of Representatives introduced legislation Wednesday that would allow elementary and secondary schools to receive funding through grants for the implementation of AEDs (automated external defibrillators) and CPR programs.
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«To me, these kids represent why we’re all here today. Growing up playing soccer, I don’t remember ever thinking about CPR or knowing where an AED was at my school or on the sports field,» Hamlin said.
Since his collapse on the field, Hamlin started the «3 For Heart» campaign in an effort to raise awareness about AED and CPR.
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Hamlin also shared his gratitude for the Bills’ medical staff.
«For those of you who play sports, I imagine your experience was similar. With my coaches on the field and my family in the stands, we didn’t plan for what would happen if sudden cardiac arrest happened to me or one of us.» from my teammates. On January 2, everything changed for me and my entire family, especially my mom, Nina, and dad, Mario, who are here with me today. Fortunately, the Buffalo Bills medical team was prepared, and they saved my life,» Hamlin added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., showed his support for Hamlin by wearing a personalized Bills No. 3 jersey. The jersey featured a special message signed by Hamlin that read, «Thank you for the love and support.»
Schumer praised Hamlin for using his platform to raise awareness.
«Damar Hamlin is the epitome of resilience, perseverance and courage. Following his cardiac arrest, the nation came together in somber prayer and hope, rallying the entire country in support of his miraculous recovery. Damar’s impact goes further. beyond the field and stretching thousands of miles outside of western New York.During a time when Damar might have retired to a quiet recovery, she is instead using her voice to turn her story into a mission that saves lives for millions. of children across the country.
Schumer pledged to help pass the AED Access Act by 2024.
The NFL recently announced the launch of the Smart Heart Sports Coalition, partnering with MLB, NBA, MLS, NHL, NCAA, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Korey Stringer Institute, National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation to call for all US states to adopt emergency action plans.
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the «coalition of sports leagues and advocacy groups» would «begin a 50-state campaign to ensure that all high schools have access to AEDs, that coaches receive CPR instruction and that emergency action plans are in place to respond to sudden heart attacks. arrest.»