Just seconds after Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field from cardiac arrest on Monday, medical personnel swarmed the field in an immediate response that has been widely recognized for the player’s steps towards recovery .

But one member of the Bills team in particular – assistant athletic coach Denny Kellington – was praised by head coach Sean McDermott for “saving Damar’s life”.

Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins said in a tweet On Thursday, it was Kellington who administered critical CPR to Hamlin, who doctors say lost his pulse on the pitch and required immediate resuscitation and defibrillation.

“For an assistant to find himself in that position and needing to take the steps he took and to step in and take charge like he did – and there were others on the pitch as well – is just amazing,” McDermott said of Kellington. at a press conference on Thursday.

“And the courage it took – you talk about a real leader, a real hero who saved Damar’s life and admire his strength.”

Hamlin was taken to hospital, where he was sedated. On Thursday, his doctors announced that Hamlin had begun to wake up. Although he remains critically ill and on a ventilator, his medical team said the player was showing signs of “good neurological recovery” and making significant progress.

The immediate response from Kellington and other medical staff was essential to “not just save his life, but his neurological function,” Dr. University of Cincinnati.

In cardiac arrest, the heart no longer pumps blood, which means no oxygen moves to the brain or other organs. Seconds count: the longer a person goes without oxygen, the greater the risk of organ damage and the lower the chance of survival. CPR mimics a pumping heart, which keeps blood flowing, and a defibrillator shocks the heart, which can cause it to start beating again.

Kellington has been on the Bills’ coaching staff since 2017. Prior to joining the team, he coached athletics at Syracuse University for 11 years, including six as the team’s head athletic coach. football, according to Kellington University and LinkedIn. He also served as a graduate student athletic trainer at Ohio State University, the school confirmed to CNN.

If you don’t know how to perform CPR, watch this

In audio obtained by CNN of medical personnel responding to the spread, medical teams can be heard urgently asking everyone to respond the minute Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m. ET.

At 8:55 p.m. ET, when Hamlin hit the ground, someone can be heard saying, “Go to bed. I don’t like the way it fell.

Seconds later, another voice said, “We’re going to need everyone. All call, all call. Within a minute, several more shouts ring out for all personnel to rush to the field.

Between 9:12 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., staff are heard asking for another doctor and emergency equipment for the ambulance.

The quick response of medical teams that night was repeatedly praised by NFL officials, Bills team members and doctors.

“It is certainly no exaggeration to say that the skilled and immediate response of all these talented caregivers prevented a very tragic outcome at this time,” NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said Wednesday.

Sills said the league holds pre-season drills to prepare for medical emergencies and also holds briefings between medical teams before each game.

McDermott also opened the Bills’ press conference on Thursday with a word of thanks for “the first responders on the field last Monday night and the medical teams of the Bills, the Bengals and the staff, doctors and nurses at the Bills Medical Center. ‘University of Cincinnati. for their work and care.

Rodney Thomas II

Hear from the Colts player who visited Hamlin in the hospital

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