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Fans in Cincinnati and beyond hope for the best for Damar Hamlin

Damar Hamlin Football
Duane Burleson
/
AP
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Nov. 20, 2022, in Detroit. Hamlin collapsed on the field and appeared to be getting CPR before being driven off the field in an ambulance during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.

Even Cincinnatians who aren't football fans are showing an outpouring of support.

As Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin receives treatment at the UC Medical Center, fans are anxiously awaiting any news on his condition.

The 24-year-old collapsed on the field during Monday night’s football game against the Bengals. His team reported he suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit. His heartbeat was restored and he's on a ventilator while undergoing a series of tests.

Don Byrd was hyped up for Monday Night Football and was shocked to see Hamlin receiving life-saving treatment after a hit that wasn't out of the ordinary.

“God bless him,” says Byrd. “I hope all is well with him. Who would have thunk a routine play…”

Byrd was eating lunch at the Holy Grail Tuesday with his 11-year-old nephew Jeremiah Engel. “When I heard what happened, I thought, I hope he survives because that would be a tragic day for football,” Engel says.

Engel liked how the teams came together on the field. “And it just shows on the screen they may act like they hate each other but really they might be good friends in real life.”

Dave Busch was at Paycor Stadium and says he's never seen anything like it. He says the injury puts it all in perspective.

“In sports, everyone looks at the contracts and how much these professional athletes are getting paid and things like that, but they don’t understand the other side of it,” he says. “And this is when you see the other side, unfortunately, which is the dark side of this game.”

hamlin vigil.jpg
Ann Thompson
/
WVXU
Right after the game fans held a vigil for Hamlin outside the hospital. This is what was left Tuesday morning.

Benjamin DaVila flew from Arizona to Chicago and then he and his dad drove to Cincinnati to see the game. “Everyone was just quiet and we saw an ambulance leave the stadium and we were clapping, thinking that he was OK. And then we figured out that he was in the tunnel and they were still giving him CPR.”

It’s unclear when UC Medical Center will have an update on Hamlin’s condition.

Bengals President Mike Brown issued a statement saying, “Last night was supposed to be a great night for the NFL and a great showcase for our hometown. Instead, the human side of our sport became paramount ... and in that moment, humanity and love rose to the forefront.”

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Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology