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Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamling took a trip to Capitol Hill to talk to lawmakers about the importance of adding AEDs to schools nationwide.
As you may already know, AED stands for Automated external defibrillator. They’re used to help those who have experienced a cardiac event.
Hamlin is all too familiar with this. He knows how important these devices can be when it comes to saving someone’s life.
“For those of you who played sports, I’d imagine your experience was similar,” Hamlin said. “With my coaches on the field and my family in the stands, we didn’t plan what would happen if sudden cardiac arrest should happen to me or to one of my teammates.
“On Jan. 2, that all changed for me and my entire family, particularly my mom, Nina, and my dad, Mario, who are here with me today. Thankfully, the medical team with the Buffalo Bills was prepared, and they saved my life.”
Hamlin Discussed The Importance Of AEDs
Hamlin laid out some statistics that highlight how important it is to make sure that schools have access to AEDs.
“Sudden cardiac arrest happens to more than 7,000 kids under the age of 18 every year in our country,” Hamlin said. “The majority of the kids impacted are student-athletes. Research shows that 1 in every 300 youth has an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk.”
“For schools that have AEDs, the survival rate for the children from sudden cardiac arrest is seven times higher. The Access to AEDs Act will help ensure that schools are just as prepared and trained to respond in a time of crisis as those on the sideline of an NFL game.”
Hamlin unveiled the bill — the Access to AEDs Act — alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Hamlin has become an advocate for access to AEDs. He even launched a campaign called 3 For Heart.
However, his foray into advocacy doesn’t necessarily mean his playing days are behind him. Last month, Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Hamlin hopes to return to play if possible.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle