Home>Highlight>The O’Toole Chronicles: Damar Hamlin Gives the World Perspective
Damar Hamlin, safety with the Buffalo Bills is taken off the field by an ambulance after collapsing on the field due to a cardiac arrest from a tackle to the chest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on January 2, 2022. (Photo: Wikipedia).

The O’Toole Chronicles: Damar Hamlin Gives the World Perspective

By Kevin O'Toole, February 07 2023 12:01 am

Many of us watched in absolute horror during the January 2nd Monday Night Football game when Buffalo Bills’ safety, Damar Hamlin, made a seemingly routine tackle, got up, then staggered and fell down. We all held our collective breath as we waited for Damar to get up off the turf — he didn’t. After many frantic minutes, and after Damar’s heart stopped beating, automated external defibrillator (ACD) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were applied and he was rushed off to the local hospital where he remained in an induced coma. As we all prayed for his swift and complete recovery, it was incredible to see him at the Bills game on January 22nd rooting on his teammates.

Now let’s turn to the life lesson that comes from this tragedy.

This horrible incident stopped the sports and the larger world in its tracks. What was it that had all of us sitting on the edge of our seat, straining for good news? Many of us have seen physical violence before up close and live, or on television while viewing a sporting event or watching the news. This one tragedy changed the arc a bit and made us all sit back and gain perspective, and perhaps there is some good that comes from this regrettable sadness.

But what was it that made this injury so impactful and made so much of an impression on the public? I can tell you firsthand that to watch the hit and the act of falling to the ground, it felt like it was happening in my living room. It felt so personal. After watching the rescue efforts and seeing those players from the Bills and Bengals cry and get emotional on the field, I began to realize that this was taking a different route. It felt beyond real and without end.

Soon after the talk in many social circles was dominated with the hard conclusion that this event allowed many of us to step back and gain some healthy perspective and this is a good thing.

Sadly, it is sometimes life-threatening events or near misses that are needed to cause us to readjust our life optics and allow for real priorities to percolate to the top. Maybe, one day, we can arrive at the place where we always embrace the important human values and treasure what is important without having to witness a heart pounding trauma.

In the meantime, say a prayer for Damar, and if you feel inspired to help, maybe donate to his charity – The Chasing M’s Foundation Toy Drive. The Foundation will provide toys to in need children in his hometown. This charity was set up with a goal of $2,500.00 . After making a donation, I saw the tally had reached over $6 million.

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