University of Cincinnati Medical Center health providers who cared for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin after he collapsed from cardiac arrest have been honored with the key to the city.
During a ceremony Thursday morning, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval handed over the key to the city to providers on behalf of the care staff in various departments and specialties who contributed to the care and restoration of the Bills’ safety.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field Jan. 2 at Paycor Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football during the first quarter, team officials said. Medical specialists immediately rushed to help him on the field and restarted his heart.
Hamlin was hospitalized in the critical care unit at UC Medical Center and was on a ventilator after the incident. His breathing tube was removed and he was released after nine days.
“What is so incredibly special is that while Damar Hamlin’s case was notable for being on national television, it was not notable for the care he received,” Pureval said in a press release. “Every single person, whether a professional athlete or someone just off the street, receives the same kind of exceptional, first-in-class care. We are so grateful for your heroic work, day in and day out.”
Hamlin himself expressed gratitude to the UCMC staff for his care and tweeted that he planned to donate proceeds from his shirt sales to first responders and the UC Trauma Center.
“As our community’s only mature Level I Trauma Center, UC Medical Center is uniquely equipped to provide and coordinate the highest level of complex care,” Rob Wiehe, UC Health and Chief Administrative Officer, said in a statement to ABC News. said. “These outstanding teams take pride in providing advanced medical care to every member of our community that we need every day. We thank you for recognizing them.”
In addition to the key ceremony, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital received $10,000 worth of toys from Fisher-Price and Mattel, both toy companies that have partnerships with the Bills organization.
Cincinnati Children’s said it will sort the toys through the center and distribute them to each child receiving care at the medical center.
Since his dismissal, Hamlin has visited teammates around the Bills facility and attended their AFC Divisional Playoff game at Highmark Stadium, where they faced the Bengals again on January 22.
The Bills lost 27-10, ending their season.
Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s longtime friend and business partner, said in an interview with ESPN that he still has a long way to go in his recovery, but Hamlin remains “upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this. “