Meet The "Hero" Oklahoma Native Credited With Helping Save Damar Hamlin's Life

One of the first people to Hamlin’s side was Bills assistant trainer Denny Kellington who quickly administered CPR to the ailing player.

<p><a href=&quot;;>Kevin Sabitus</a>&nbsp;/&nbsp;Contributor/Getty Images</p>

Kevin Sabitus / Contributor/Getty Images

When Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills football game Monday night, people rushed to help. Medical personnel treated the fallen player on the field for approximately 10 minutes, before an ambulance arrived, and Hamlin was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, CBS News reports. Turns out that Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, and that quick response may have saved his life. One of the first people to Hamlin’s side was Bills assistant trainer Denny Kellington who quickly administered CPR to the ailing player. His cool head and quick work may have helped restore Hamlin’s heartbeat. And Kellington? Yeah, he’s a Southerner.

Hailing from Midwest City, Oklahoma, Kellington has a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State and interned with their football team from 1996-99, according to a post shared on Twitter by a clearly proud OSU athletics department. Prior to joining the Bills he was at Syracuse University from 2005 to 2017 as an assistant athletic trainer and then the head athletic trainer for football, Tulsa World reports.

Kellington who is clearly trained in emergency response skills certainly knew how to quickly put them to good use. Sports Illustrated reporter Albert Breer shared that he “was told the work of Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington in administering CPR to Damar Hamlin on Monday was absolutely vital. …The speed and skill with which he and others reacted = A huge difference-maker.”

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Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott called Kellington “a real leader, a real hero, in saving Damar’s life” during a press conference on Thursday, per Sports Illustrated. Bills’ team members are also praising Kellington’s decisive action.

Hamlin is now  “awake and breathing,” and his doctors praised the quick action on the field, which “not only allowed Hamlin to survive, but have allowed him to avoid serious neurological damage.” While Hamlin can not speak because of a breathing tube, one of his doctors, Dr. Timothy Pritts said, "It's not only that the lights are on. We know that he's home. It appears all the cylinders are firing within his brain." Hamlin is communicating by writing and one of the first things he wanted to know was, did they win the game? His doctors replied, "You won. You've won the game of life."

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