Scary accident brings NFL together

Austin Irvin, Staff Reporter

On Monday January 2, a Monday night football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, which was supposed to be one of the best games of the NFL season and held multiple playoff implications, would see an early and scary end, after  Bills Safety Damar Hamlin collided with Bengals Wide Receiver Tee Higgins. 

Everything seemed fine at first, just a normal tackle, from which Hamlin got right back up, until Hamlin collapsed and stopped moving. That’s when there was a lot of concern from both Bengals and Bills players on the field. 

It would later be announced that the Bills Safety suffered from a cardiac arrest on the field after making a hit with the Bengals’ Wide Receiver.

Bellefonte Area High School athletic trainer Kelsey Everhart watched this scary play happen live, and initially was not sure what to think of the possible injury cause. 

“Before seeing the replay I thought it could have been anything. Possibly a head injury. Then they came back on and showed a replay of the injury. I immediately knew after watching him collapse, and not hit his head, that it was his heart,” she said. 

 Kelsey studied at Mercyhurst University and went on to talk about what they taught her about the injury that Hamlin suffered, known as Commotio Cordis. 

According to the University of Connecticut, Commotio Cordis is a condition in which an abnormal heart rhythm and cardiac arrest happens immediately upon an object striking the chest directly over the heart at a very critical time during a heartbeat.

Kelsey thought that the training staff handled his injury correctly. 

 ¨The athletic training and medical staff did everything in the emergency plan correctly, and that is why Damar Hamlin is with us today. If it wasn’t for them and their preparedness for this emergency, Hamlins story may just be different,¨ she said. 

Damar Hamlin has recently been released from the hospital and sent back to Buffalo to be with his friends and family. He is able to move, breathe, and talk on his own and is expected to make a good recovery. This could result in a possibility of having a metal plate in the chest area like Lacrosse pads do to try and prevent this.