PARKVILLE, Mo. — Wishes for a fast recovery for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin came from football fans everywhere.
That includes those who reside in Chiefs Kingdom, as people everywhere continue to keep the young Bills defensive star in their hearts.
The usual Monday Night Football noise at Al’s Bar and Grill in Parkville faded quickly. Concern over Hamlin’s well-being grew in a hurry as the 24-year old crashed to the turf during the first quarter of Buffalo’s game at Cincinnati. A team spokesperson said doctors believe Hamlin had gone into cardiac arrest.
“You could have heard a pin drop,” Al Burns said on Tuesday.
Burns, a lifelong Bills fan who owns Al’s Bar and Grill, said his heart sunk when an ambulance rolled onto the turf to assist Hamlin. Bills fans in the popular bar were comforted by fans of other teams as an anxiety swelled.
“When he he crumbled to the ground, it was hard for everybody. Not just the Bills fans,” Burns said while trembling. “Chiefs fans were hugging Bills fans and offering their support, and offering their comfort and support. It was a difficult evening.”
Reports from Tuesday show Hamlin remains in a Cincinnati area hospital, where he’s listed in critical condition.
Shawnee Mission East High School student Wylie Curtis and his cousins met Hamlin last January. Curtis said they often seek out players from visiting teams when they’re in Kansas City to face the Chiefs. Curtis said he remembers Hamlin posing for a photo and taking time to sit and watch a game on TV with the kids in that hotel lobby.
“I’ve met a lot of players off every team. He spent the most time by far. He was very nice, and he was caring. He loved to talk to us,” Curtis said.
Both Hamlin fans we talked with said Damar’s toy drive for kids in need captures the spirit of this loving young man. Hamlin had hoped to raise $2,500. As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, the GoFundMe had passed$4.5 million.