(CNN) — After going into cardiac arrest on Monday, Buffalo Bills safety Damer Hamlin remains unconscious and on a ventilator while doctors work to get him breathing on his own, according to an update from the player’s uncle.
The 24-year-old was in critical condition as of Tuesday night, his uncle Dorian Glenn told CNN, after he collapsed on the field the night the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals was suspended. The stadium that moments earlier had pulsed with the Bengals wide receiver’s tackle of Hamlin.
Within seconds, medical personnel rushed to the field to administer CPR and revive Hamlin in front of his teammates, many of whom fell to their knees, prayed or cried openly, and hugged each other.
Hamlin would be revived twice that night: once on the field and again when he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was being treated Tuesday night, his uncle said.
“I’m not a crybaby, but I’ve never cried so much in my life. Just knowing that my nephew basically died on the farm and they brought him back to life,” Glenn said.
According to Glenn, Hamlin is on a ventilator to relieve some of the strain on his lungs, which were damaged. Doctors told Glenn that his nephew was also put “on his stomach” at the hospital to help with blood in his lungs, he said. He added: “It seems to be improving in a positive way.”
The game was suspended for about six minutes from the end of the first quarter, and then officially adjourned. The NFL said Tuesday that play would not resume this week and that no decision has been made on whether to resume play at a later date.
On-field injuries are not uncommon in the league, which often resumes play after serious cases, but several current and former players have said that Hamlin’s cardiac arrest felt especially troubling because the medical staff took the risk of his life. Scrambled to save the game, as fans and players watched.
Dion Dawkins, who handled Bill’s offense, said that it was only when Hamlin remained on the ground and more and more medical personnel were called that he realized the seriousness of his teammate’s condition.
“At that point, you’re just thinking, ‘What can I do? What can we do?’ And it immediately brings you to prayer,” Dawkins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Whether you are a believer or not, only a higher power can really control what happens next. And our people who helped helped that higher power.”
Hamlin’s fall is the latest in a series of tragic blows to players and the community in Buffalo, which in recent months has seen racially motivated mass shootings and a historic blizzard that killed at least 41 people in Erie County, New York. Were. Dawkins said, “You know, it’s been a constant beating for Buffalo.”
Hamlin and his family received an outpouring of support, with messages of prayers and well wishes from star athletes, fans and national leaders. A player-initiated fundraiser for his Chasing Em’s Foundation toy campaign has raised nearly $6 million since his hospitalization.
At a prayer service for the player on Tuesday night, community members described the pain of seeing “one of our own” suffer such distress.
“Now you can only pray for the asphalt. The man, not the football player, not Buffalo Bill, but the person. The city’s poet laureate, Jillian Hainsworth, said, “They have to get.”
What caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest?
It is still unclear what caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, a condition caused by an electrical fault that causes the heart to suddenly stop beating properly. If immediate help is not given, death can occur quickly. It is not the same as a heart attack or heart failure.
CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, explained that when the heart is not beating properly, fluid sometimes backs up into the lungs and makes it difficult for medical staff to provide oxygen to the patient. Therefore, they turn the person face down to facilitate breathing.
Gupta also said that it appears that Hamlin still has a significant amount of heart disease and that his heart is unable to pump enough blood.
He told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that one of the treatment options is to reduce the body’s demand for oxygenated blood.
“You’re looking to improve the volume of circulation, but in the meantime, you can reduce the demand by sedating someone, putting them on a ventilator,” he said. “Sometimes they also use cooling agents, it’s called hypothermia, basically putting the body into a hibernation-like state so it doesn’t demand oxygenated blood. Partly that would be why He will also be connected to a respirator.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Hamlin family thanked the staff at UC Medical Center, “who provided Dahmer with exceptional care.”
“On behalf of our family, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the love and support shown to Dummer during this difficult time. We have been deeply touched by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans across the country,” the statement read.
‘It’s a cruel game. I think people forget it’
Star athletes, including tennis player Coco Gauff, the NFL’s JJ Watt, and NBA legend LeBron James, applauded the NFL’s decision to postpone the game and emphasized the importance of Hamlin’s safe recovery over the outcome of the party.
Former NFL player Deonte Stallworth said the league’s decision to suspend the game would not have happened years ago. “Five or 10 years ago, the sport probably would have picked up again,” he told CNN’s Jim Ciuto.
“I don’t know if you can make the game more secure,” he said. “It’s a brutal sport. I think people forget about that. Sometimes they see players more as objects, especially with fantasy football. Sometimes we forget the human side.” that these players are actually human beings and they have families and they have wives and children,” he said, noting that Hamlin’s “mother was there watching with her own eyes.”
Dawkins said he was relieved and grateful that his team didn’t have to keep playing.
“The fact that we didn’t have to go back and play on that field shows that there is care, and all we can do is ask to be treated like people,” he said. “Because most people treat us like athletes, like superstars, and some like celebrities, but at that point they treated us like people.”
A source inside the team told CNN’s Coy Wire that Bills players and staff are still processing the events of Monday night.
In addition to the mass shooting in the city in May, the ongoing effects of Hamlin’s hospitalization, the deadly December blizzard, playing November home games in Detroit and being stuck in Chicago over the holidays took a toll on everyone involved. Is. club, said the source.
“Everyone is exhausted,” the source told The Wire, adding that the team’s flight to New York didn’t land until 3:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
CNN’s Adrienne Broaddus reported from Cincinnati and Amanda Watts reported from Atlanta, while Elizabeth Wolfe reported and wrote from Los Angeles. CNN’s David Close, Homero de la Fuente, Jason Hanna, Steve Almasy, Wayne Sterling, Laura Lee, Jamiel Lynch and Kevin Dotson also contributed to this report.