sport news Meet the 'real hero' who saved Damar Hamlin's life: Oklahoma-born assistant ... trends now
There are a lot of people who have been praised for their handling of the traumatic events of Monday night after Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field - but none more so than Denny Kellington, whose quick reactions saved the safety's life.
Hamlin collapsed after landing a hit on Bengals' receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter causing medical staff to quickly spring into action.
Brain injuries can rapidly occur in patients suffering from cardiac arrest with tissue starting to die within minutes of being deprived of oxygen and Kellington's quick reactions to administering CPR to Hamlin has proven to be a matter of life or death.
Assistant trainer Denny Kellington administered life-saving CPR to Bills safety Damar Hamlin
Hamlin collapsed on the field in Cincinnati after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins
Hamlin is awake and showing signs of improvement after suffering a cardiac arrest
After news circulated that Hamlin was showing signs improvement and was communicating with his teammates, people began searching for the man who began immediately performing life-saving CPR.
That man was Kellington, an Oklahoma State University graduate who has been with the Bills for five years after spending over a decade as the head athletic trainer at Syracuse University.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during the contest in Cincinnati. Doctors say that Hamlin initially had a pulse at the stadium and then lost it. It was then that Kellington was able to quickly restart his heart and restore blood flow to his brain as players from both teams and millions of television viewers looked on in shock.
Buffalo Bills players were visibly stunned and upset while Hamlin was tended to on the field
Doctors treating Hamlin at University of Cincinnati Medical Center said the immediate recognition that there was something significantly wrong and the rapid response by Kellington and others was crucial to his survival.
'The Bills training staff who was with him immediately recognized that this was not a run of the mill injury and that they had a significant event on their hands and immediately responded,' Dr. Timothy Pritts told reporters earlier on Thursday.
'This went as well as something like this can go under very challenging circumstances. They did a fantastic job, which is why we are here today.'
Despite the positive news, doctors said Hamlin, 24, was still critically ill and remained in the intensive care unit, adding that the focus was on getting him off of a ventilator 'and on the road to recovery.'