It’s been a nervous week for Damar Hamlin’s family, players on the Buffalo Bills and around the NFL, and much of the country waiting, praying and hoping for a miracle. Friday morning it appears the prayers of many have been answered in a favorable way.
ESPN’s Ryan Clark talked about the “power of God” and the “power of prayer.”
Dan Orlovsky, who went viral for stopping the program on ESPN to pray for Hamlin, reacted to news that Hamlin FaceTimed with teammates this morning.
Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott detailed the emotional FaceTime call during a press conference today.
“They stood up right away and clapped for him, shouted a few things to him,” McDermott said while describing the players reaction to the call, which was a surprise to the team. Staffers routed the call to the big screen in the players meeting room, and the team was elated when seeing him appear.
“He (Damar) flexed, made the heart symbol, and gave them the thumbs up. It was hard to hear but he said ‘I love you boys’ to the team,” McDermott added. His words, which were hard to hear, got the entire team choked up, according to McDermott.
Hamlin has made incredible progress. From his heart stopping on Monday night to speaking with his teammates on Friday, he has come a long way. On Thursday news broke that Hamlin was awake and conscious. He wrote a note to physicians asking if the team won the game Monday.
“Did we win?” he asked, to which the doctors replied “Yes, Damar. You won. You won the game of life.”
Dr. Timothy Pritts, division chief of general surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said there has been “substantial improvement” over the past day, CNN reported.
“We had significant concern about him after the injury and after the event that happened on the field, but he’s making substantial progress,” Pritts said. “As of this morning, he is beginning to awaken, and it appears that his neurological condition and function is intact.”
Pritts cautioned that Hamlin continues to be critically ill and is still receiving intensive care, as doctors explore the cause of his cardiac arrest.
Ron Butler, Damar’s agent, confirmed the development as the Bills were scheduled to return to practice Thursday – the first time since Hamlin’s heart stopped in Monday night’s game.
Mario Hamlin, Damar’s father, also spoke with the entirety of the Bills team Wednesday, informing them his son is “making progress” after the terrifying ordeal, Fox News reported.
And on Thursday, Billy cornerback Kaiir Elam thanked the Lord for Hamlin’s progress.
“Our boy is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement,” he tweeted. “Thank you, God. Keep the prayers coming, please. All love 3!”
The Bills also announced Thursday Hamlin has shown “remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours.”
“Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” a team statement read. “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal, and he is making steady progress.”
The statement continues, “We are grateful for the love and support we have received.”
His family said they are encouraged by all the prayers and support.
“They are elated right now,” Hamlin’s marketing representative, Jordon Rooney said. “Damar is still their first concern. But for them, they always look at how they can turn a somewhat troubling situation into a good one. The bounce back from this, for him and his family, is going to be incredible.”
As CBN’s Faithwire reported, one of the most powerful moments of prayer came Tuesday night when ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky prayed for Hamlin during NFL Live.
Orlovsky prayed this prayer:
“God we come to you in these moments that we don’t understand, that are hard, because we believe that You’re God, and coming to You and praying to You has impact. We’re sad, we’re angry, we want answers, but some things are unanswerable. We just want to pray, truly come to You and pray for strength for Damar, for healing for Damar, for comfort for Damar, to be with his family, to give them peace. If we didn’t believe that prayer … worked, we wouldn’t ask this of You, God. I believe in prayer, we believe in prayer, and we lift up Damar Hamlin’s name in Your name, Amen.”
Columnist Joshua Arnold writing for the Washington Stand said moments like this prayer are the only thing appropriate in times of crisis.
“This moment demonstrates that Christianity still maintains incredible cultural influence in America, despite decades of routine mockery and secular infiltration. When unexpected, unexplained tragedy strikes, ordinary citizens and influential people across America’s institutions alike turn to prayer,” he wrote.
“In matters of life and death, finding distraction in an entertaining ball game is inappropriate, insignificant quarreling is inappropriate, emotionless detachment is inappropriate. What is appropriate in a crisis is prayer, as thousands of Americans have recognized this week,” Arnold concluded.
Continue praying for the player’s full recovery.
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