Dion Dawkins has opened up about the terrifying moment Damar Hamlin collapsed and knew something was ‘really wrong’ as he became the first Bills player to speak out about his teammate’s on-field cardiac arrest.
Buffalo Bills’ Dion Dawkins has become the first teammate of hospitalized Damar Hamlin to speak out about his on-field cardiac arrest.
Hamlin, 24, is said to be ‘trending upwards’, but remains sedated and in critical condition in the ICU about 36 hours after collapsing and being given CPR on the field.
The family revealed the player suffered ‘lung damage’ after being resuscitated during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and one of Hamlin’s teammates opened up about the scary moment.
Buffalo Bills’ Dion Dawkins (L) recalls the moment Damar Hamlin (R) was hospitalized after collapsing
‘You look around and you see the medical staff doing their job, and you know when it’s something minor like someone is down, but they’re sitting, men are moving in a good speed,’ the offensive tackle told CNN Tuesday night.
‘But when things like this happen, they wave so fast and call the men in the field and call for the elite medical staff – that’s when you really realize something is really, really wrong.
‘It was one of the first experiences for myself where something like this happened in this kind of way, where it silenced an entire stadium that was in chaos for half a game earlier.’
Hamlin was rushed to the hospital – the University of Cincinnati Medical Center – after colliding with Bengals’ Tee Higgins in the first quarter of the Monday Night Football matchup.
Higgins led the well wishes sent to Hamlin on Twitter, writing: ‘My prayers and thoughts go out to @HamlinIslandthe Hamlin Family. I’m praying that you get through bro. Love.’
On the play the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin was injured, Higgins led with his right shoulder, hitting the defensive back in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to pull him down.
Hamlin (No. 3) gets up briefly after making a tackle with Tee Higgins before collapsing in shocking scenes as the Buffalo Bills play the Cincinnati Bengals
Moments later Hamlin collapsed, falling backwards and motionless to the floor
Bills players were visibly stunned as their teammate received emergency treatment on the field
Hamlin stood up quickly, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backwards about three seconds later and was motionless.
The Bills safety was surrounded by players from both sides and treated for 16 minutes before being immobilized and taken off the field. As medical personnel gathered around Hamlin, his playing uniform was ripped off.
Players on both teams were visibly stunned by the incident and many were in tears on the field.
Several players embraced, including quarterbacks Josh Allen of Buffalo and Joe Burrow of Cincinnati. The game was postponed by the NFL.
Dawkins added: ‘Whether you’re a believer or not, only a higher power can really control what comes next. Our people who help also help a higher power. But in that moment you just have to be vulnerable and let the prayer step up and do its magic.’
The NFL has confirmed that the Bills-Bengals game will not go ahead this week after the postponement. The league also denied reports that they were planning to go ahead with the game on Monday night.
‘I’m really blessed that we don’t have to keep playing,’ Dawkins continued. ‘The fact that we don’t have to go back out there on that field and play just shows that there is care, and that’s all we can ask for is to be treated as human beings.
Most people just treat us as athletes, as superstars, and some people as celebrities, but at that moment it was [the NFL] we were treated like human beings. And to be treated as someone who is cared for, it’s a great feeling.