WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden met Thursday with Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the field after making a tackle during an NFL game in January.
Biden tweeted a photo of him with Hamlin in the Oval Office and said it was an honor to meet Hamlin and his family. In the photo, Hamlin is seen holding a Bills jersey in his lap.
Hamlin collapsed while playing against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2 during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Since then, Hamlin has had a remarkable recovery, according to doctors, and the team’s general manager said last month that Hamlin’s “end game” is to resume playing so long as he receives the necessary medical clearance.
The White House said in a statement that Hamlin’s efforts during his recovery had helped to “make life-saving technologies more widely available.” Biden had previously spoken by phone with Hamlin’s parents while visiting Cincinnati on Jan. 4, two days after the game and while Hamlin was in the hospital.
On Wednesday, Hamlin appeared with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., to discuss a bill that would increase access to defibrillators in public and private elementary and secondary schools. A defibrillator helped to save Hamlin’s life.
Biden said in his tweet that “Hamlin’s courage, resilience, and spirit inspired the American people. And what’s more: he turned recovery into action -– and our country is better for it.”