The 25-year-old was at the 2023 ESPY Awards on Wednesday, where he took to the stage to honor the first responders who helped save his life after he suffered cardiac arrest at a game back in January.
He presented the training staff of the Buffalo Bills with the Pat Tillman Award for Service, and he cried onstage while presenting the award.
Damar Hamlin was brought to tears when presenting the Pat Tillman Award for Service to the training staff of the Buffalo Bills ❤️ 💙 pic.twitter.com/IThNKmREyC
— ESPN (@espn) July 13, 2023
“Please welcome this year’s recipient for the Pat Tillman Award for Service, the training staff of the Buffalo Bills,” he said in a clip shared by ESPN on social media.
Damar suffered a cardiac arrest in the first quarter of a game on January 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, during which he collapsed after colliding with another player. He received CPR on the field, where medical personnel were reportedly able to restart his heart, before being transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further treatment. Damar woke up from a medically-induced coma two days later on January 4, and returned home on January 11.
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At the 12th Annual NFL Honors in February, he got emotional onstage while giving a speech where he thanked God for being alive
“Every day I am amazed that my experiences could encourage so many others across the country and even across the world,” he said. “Encourage to pray, encourage to spread love and encourage keep fighting no matter the circumstances.”
He also shared how this journey has given him a renewed sense of purpose and hope: “My entire life, I felt like God was using me to give others hope. And now with a new set of circumstances, I can only say he’s doing what he’s always done. I have a long journey ahead. A journey full of unknowns, and a journey full of milestones. But it’s a lot easier to face your fears, when you know your purpose.”