CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals are celebrating after their win against the Baltimore Ravens, but before the game even began, UC Medical Center health care providers were celebrated.
In an on-field ceremony at Paycor Stadium, UCMC staff that were part of the immediate response to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest were recognized before the National Anthem.
"On behalf of our extensive multi-disciplinary medical care teams, we're deeply honored to be recognized, and more importantly, we're happy that Damar is making continued progress in his recovery," said Rob Wiehe, UC Health and chief administrative officer for UC Medical Center.
The UC Medical Center is an integral part of the NFL Emergency Action Plan at Paycor Stadium. All home games have a 30-person medical team on the sidelines at all times, UC Health said.
UC Medical Center is the only hospital in the Tri-State area that can provide that on-field care because it's the only adult Level 1 trauma center, which it has been for 25 years.
Wiehe said they're privileged to hold that title.
"As the only adult academic health system in the region, we conduct extensive research to deliver the latest medical breakthroughs and treatments, which provide patients with the most advanced medical care in the region," Wiehe said.
During an update by two UCMC doctors, they said without the quick action from the on-field medical personnel, Hamlin's current state could have been a lot different.
Those doctors also thanked the Buffalo Bills medical personnel, who immediately recognized that Hamlin needed bystander CPR.
"We cannot credit their team enough," Dr. William A. Knight said.
As of Sunday, Hamlin was in critical condition at UCMC's ICU. NFL broadcasters said the 24-year-old took his first steps this past weekend on the same day that childhood friend and Bengals WR Tyler Boyd visited him.
Now, as Hamlin continues to make progress in his recovery, he's selling shirts to benefit first responders and UCMC.
We all won 🏾.
I want to give back an ounce of the love y'all showed me. Proceeds of this shirt will go to first-responders and the UC Trauma Center.
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 8, 2023
This article was written by Molly Schramm for WCPO.