The medical emergency that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has caused many acts of kindness throughout the world of sport, from donations pouring into the player’s charity to others dealing with first responders.
Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Harrison Phillips was with the Bills in 2021 and was Hamlin’s teammate during his rookie season. On Tuesday, as Hamlin’s family and others awaited any updates on his condition, Phillips bought dinner for his family, the Bills’ coaching staff and ICU doctors and nurses at the University of California Medical Center. Cincinnati doing everything they can to help Hamlin. .
Phillips told reporters he was at a Minnesota Timberwolves game with teammate Sheldon Day and his associates when he heard Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and collapsed to the ground at Paycor Stadium.
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“We left the game early, and I was updating Twitter every second, reading every tweet, waiting to hear what was going on and what could happen. I sent a bunch of text messages to almost all of my [former] teammates,” Phillips said, via the team’s website.
“For all the teammates that gathered around them there, it was a very difficult scene to watch. You can try to imagine it the best you can, but it was a very difficult scene. So obviously I’ve been praying. I got on my knees, praying and trying to figure out, ‘What can you do?’ There’s really nothing to do but try to reach everyone you can and make sure they know they’re loved and be as supportive as you can.”
Phillips said she was finally able to connect with someone at the hospital and was able to buy some type of food for everyone involved.
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“I found a sandwich shop and ordered food: fries, drinks and sandwiches, everything I could find, salads, whatever, for all the doctors, nurses on the ICU ER floor, the members of Damar’s family that was there the Bills training staff they were able to deliver that for dinner last night I got a buffet of Chipotle stuff [Wednesday night] Coming to dinner for all the doctors and nurses, I think there are 50 or so. I just wanted to try to do something,” she added.
“My foundation, Harrison’s Playmakers, the kids I work with have bigger hearts than any of us. They wanted to find ways to help too. I made a donation to [Hamlin’s] background, but some parents and some kids were asking me, ‘What else can we do as Playmakers?’ So I’ve opened a small branch of my foundation that they can support… to do an event in honor of Damar that I hope will be a celebration of her life and her recovery in the coming months. But they were just asking for an outlet of what else they could do, so I wanted to provide one.”
Donations to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation have exceeded $7 million since the incident.
The Bills provided an update on Hamlin early Wednesday.
“Damar remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted yesterday and overnight,” the team said.
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“He is expected to remain in intensive care while his healthcare team continues to monitor and treat him.”