PHOENIX ( Associated Press) – Dammer Hamlin made a brief appearance in Phoenix on Wednesday during Super Bowl week to receive the NFL Players Guild’s Alan Page Community Award.
The Buffalo Bills safety received the award at the Phoenix Convention Center just over a month after he went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati.
“One of my favorite quotes: It’s a blessing,” said Hamlin, who read a prepared statement with his parents. “Having said that, I plan to never take this position lightly and always have a sense of urgency to make a difference in that community and in other communities around the world.”
Hamlin was one of five finalists for the Alan Page Award, which recognizes a player each year who has performed outstanding community service to the city in which his team plays or his hometown. His foundation received $100,000 as part of the award.
“Not only is this a man who has overcome many things, not only is he a man who reminds us how dangerous this sport is, but he is also the spirit, the love, the joy, the brotherhood of the people he Let’s play this game,” said DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the players’ union.
A Hamlin toy drive received an unexpected GoFundMe donation in the days and weeks following his cardiac arrest. Since then, Chasing Em has earned over $9 million.
Hamlin said, “Giving back to my community has always been a part of who I am.” “I thank my father who is here behind me. I grew up watching him do community work in our community. I always waited my turn.”
Hamlin collapsed on the field of play after a collision with Ty Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals and had to be revived before being taken away by an ambulance. He spent about a week in a Cincinnati hospital before being flown to Buffalo, where he remained for a few days.
He was discharged on 11 January.
Shortly thereafter Hamlin began touring team facilities and was present at the Bills’ Divisional Round game against Cincinnati, where cameras caught him receiving a standing ovation.
He still faces a long recovery. Hamlin’s business representative, Jordan Rooney, said on January 20 that the 24-year-old still needed oxygen and that his heart rate was being monitored regularly to make sure there was no shock.