"I'm thankful and blessed," Hamlin said at a press conference Tuesday. "I'm blessed to have wonderful trainers here who treat me with the love and care as if I were their own children. ... This event was life-changing, but it's not the end of my story. I'm here to announce that I plan on making a comeback to the NFL. The diagnosis of what happened to me was basically commotio cordis. It's a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest, and five to seconds later you fall out. That's what everyone has seen back on January 2nd of this year. commotio cordis is the leading cause of (death for) athletes across all youth sports, so that's something I will be taking a step in to make a change. The awareness around CPR and the access to AEDs have been lowering that number as well."
According to the American Heart Association, commotio cordis is "an extremely rare, serious medical condition that can happen after a sudden, blunt impact to the chest. If the physical blow hits during a narrow window in the heart rhythm, it can disrupt the heartbeat and cause sudden cardiac arrest."
Bills general manager Brandon Beane made the surprise, initial announcement on Tuesday. According to Beane, Hamlin was cleared by three separate specialists who all agreed that it would be safe for the 25-year-old to return to football.
"They're all in agreement, it's not two-to-one or three-to-one or anything like that, they're all in lockstep of what this was and that he is cleared to resume full activities just like anyone else who was coming back from an injury," Beane said. "He's fully cleared. He's here, and he is of the mindset, he's in a great headspace, to come back and make his return."
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Hamlin's return to football will come just over three months Bengals. At the end of a play in the first quarter, Hamlin took a shot to the chest after going in for a tackle. Hamlin went down while making the tackle, but then immediately shot back up like everything was fine. However, just a few seconds later, he collapsed on the field after going into cardiac arrest.against the
During the nearly 30 minutes that he was on the field, Hamlin was given immediate medical attention that included CPR. Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington has been credited with essentially saving Hamlin's life by reviving him on the field, an. After Kellington revived him, Hamlin was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.
Nine days after the incident, Hamlin was discharged from the hospital in Cincinnati and allowed to travel to Buffalo. Hamlin on Jan. 22 during a Bills home playoff game against the Bengals.
The safetythat he was hoping he would be able to return to football, and now, that dream will soon become a reality.
Hamlin started 13 games for the Bills in 2022 and if he starts just one game in 2023 -- or just plays a single snap -- that would likely make him a lock to win comeback player of the year next season.