Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and the Bills training staff shared an emotional moment Wednesday at the ESPY Awards when Hamlin presented them with the Pat Tillman Award for Service.
The training staff earned the honor after saving Hamlin’s life when he went into cardiac arrest in the middle of a late-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It is great to be here tonight to introduce to you a few friends of mine,” Hamlin said while introducing a tribute video to the staff. “But first, let me tell you a story of how we all got to know each other.”
The video — narrated by Hamlin — revisited the night that Hamlin almost lost his life. It also included shots of his recovery as he continues to work toward his return to football.
“When the Bills trainers got to me on that field, I’m not sure what my odds of survival were,” Hamlin said. “But I do know that the staff that worked on me had to do everything just right.
“And thanks to their training, their poise, their commitment to serving others, the Bills training staff kept me alive.”
When the video concluded, Hamlin held his head in his hand as he was brought to tears. When the staff finally took the stage with them, he cried in their arms as they embraced him.
“By the grace of God and divine intervention, we had the best outcome we could’ve prayed for or imagine,” Head Athletic Trainer Nate Breske said. “It was a massive army of specialists who came together — on and off the field — to do their jobs that night.
“We also want to acknowledge the Bills, the Bengals, owners, the leadership team, the coaches, and players for helping navigate the challenges that we faced as a team that night and the days following the event.”
Breske then turned to Damar Hamlin.
“Damar, first and foremost, thank you for staying alive, brother,” Breske said. “Seriously, we are so honored to be standing up here next to such a strong, courageous human being.”
Watch above via ABC
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