The medical emergency Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has led to many acts of kindness around the sports world – from donations pouring into the player’s charity to others taking care of first responders.
Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Harrison Phillips was with the Bills in 2021 and was teammates with Hamlin during his rookie season. On Tuesday, as Hamlin’s family and others waited for any update on his condition, Phillips bought dinner for his family, the Bills’ training staff and the doctors and nurses who are at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center’s ICU doing anything they can to help Hamlin.
Phillips told reporters he was at a Minnesota Timberwolves game with teammate Sheldon Day and their partners when he heard Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed to the ground at Paycor Stadium.
“We left the game early, and I was just refreshing Twitter every second, reading every tweet out there, just waiting to hear what’s going on and what could happen. I sent out a bunch of text messages to almost all my [former] teammates,” Phillips said, via the team’s website.
“For all the teammates that were rallied around them there, it was a very hard scene to see. You can try to picture it as best you can, but it was a very hard scene. So I’ve obviously been praying. I got on my knees, praying and trying to figure out, ‘What can you do?’ There’s nothing really to do than try to reach out to everyone you can and make sure that they know that they’re loved and bring as much support as you can.”
Phillips said he eventually was able to connect with someone at the hospital and was able to get some kind of food purchased for everyone involved.
“I found a sandwich shop and ordered food — chips, 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 were there, the training staff of the Bills. They were able to deliver that for dinner last night. I have a buffet of Chipotle stuff [Wednesday night] coming for dinner for all of the doctors and nurses – I think there’s 50 or so. I just wanted to try to do something,” he added.
“My foundation, Harrison’s Playmakers, the children that I work with have bigger hearts than any of us. They wanted to find ways to help out, too. I donated to [Hamlin’s] fund, but some parents and some kids were asking me, ‘What else can we do as Playmakers?’ So I opened a little branch of my foundation that they can support … to do an event in Damar’s honor that will hopefully be a celebration of his life and his recovery in the months to come. But they were just asking for an outlet of what else they could do, so I wanted to provide one for them.”
Donations to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation has topped $7 million since the incident.
The Bills provided an update on Hamlin earlier Wednesday.
“Damar remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted yesterday and overnight,” the team said
“He is expected to remain under intensive care as his health care team continues to monitor and treat him.”