The Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh is holding a prayer session for Damar Hamlin, a former student who graduated in 2016 and is currently an NFL player for the Buffalo Bills. Hamlin was critically injured during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2nd.
During a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, collapsed after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. The Buffalo Bills later released a statement saying Hamlin had suffered a cardiac arrest after the hit. Hamlin is 24 years old.
Former Students' Strength and Faith Inspire Support and Well Wishes.
According to The Record, Medics worked for about 10 minutes to restore Damar Hamlin's heartbeat after he collapsed during a game. The Buffalo Bills team and staff members formed a prayer circle around him. Hamlin was then taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he is lying in critical condition. The incident was distressing for players, staff, and commentators, and the game was suspended. This was the last Monday Night Football match of the regular season.
The NFL has posted a message on its social media accounts with Damar Hamlin's team number and the words "Pray for Damar." The Hamlin family released a statement online on January 3rd, asking for prayers and gratitude for the "Good words and donations from fans around the country."
Central Catholic High School, where Hamlin is an alumnus, described him as a "highly respected young man" who is "an integral part of our Catholic Lasallian Community" and regularly returns to the school to speak with football players. A photograph provided by the school shows Hamlin in his high school football uniform, with a poster that reads "Recruited by Jesus."
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Multiple Personalities Offered Prayers for Hamlin
The president of Central Catholic High School, Christian Brother Mike Andrejko, asked the Lord to be with Damar Hamlin and hold him in his hand. The school's former head football coach, Terry Totten, described Hamlin as "a great athlete and a great Christian gentleman who is a man for others" and "an essential part of the community at Central Catholic."
Totten also mentioned Hamlin's charitable foundation, The Chasing M's Foundation Community Toy Drive, which the athlete started before being drafted in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft.
Central Catholic posted a message on its Facebook page expressing the community's prayers for Hamlin's well-being and swift recovery and asking the Lord to be with him and his family during this difficult time. The post had over 2,500 shares and almost 400 responses, including many heartfelt prayers.
According to Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, on Central Catholic's Facebook page, some posters shared prayers to Mary and various saints, including St. John the Baptist, St. Jude, St. Sebastian, Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, and Pope Benedict XVI. One poster included a link to a video of Hamlin recorded during his high school years for the Pittsburgh Steelers Youth Football Show. In the interview, Hamlin mentioned that he chose his player number, three, because it was a "family number" that his father had worn, and Central Catholic was "big on tradition."
The school's name and reputation meant a lot to the coaches, alumni, and current players. Hamlin's Twitter timeline includes several references to his faith, gratitude, and support for his friends and fellow athletes. On December 8th, 2020, he wrote, "I see myself through God's eyes, not anyone else's." A post from the previous month reads, "from losses to lessons to blessings. Thank you, God!"
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