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The outpouring of prayers and support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin led to a surge in donations for his toy drive after a scary incident during his game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hamlin, who was a standout at Pittsburgh before he was drafted by the Bills, created The Chasing M’s Foundation and launched a toy drive in 2020 months before he turned pro. His GoFundMe was still up throughout the holiday season and through the Monday night game before tragedy struck.
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A Paycor Stadium video board reads that the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals is suspended due to an injury sustained by Bills safety Damar Hamlin #3 during the first quarter of an NFL football game on January 2, 2023 in Cinci (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images / Getty Images)
Hamlin was rushed to the hospital after he collapsed on the field following a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Medical personnel needed to use CPR and an AED before transporting him to the facility. The NFL said he was in critical condition.
Football fans from all corners found Hamlin’s fundraise and immediately started to contribute. At the start of the night, there was about $100,000 raised and as of early Tuesday morning on the East Coast, there was more than $3 million raised for his charity.
The NFL postponed the game after it was temporarily suspended.
"Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition," the league said in a statement.
Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills after a game against the Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium on September 19, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images / Getty Images)
BILLS' DAMAR HAMLIN IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER COLLAPSING ON FIELD, GAME SUSPENDED FOR REST OF NIGHT
"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
"The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game."
The NFL Players Association also released a statement on the matter.
"The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL," the NFLPA said in a tweet. "The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well being."
The Bills selected Hamlin with the No. 212 overall pick in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He played in 14 games last season – mostly on special teams – in his rookie season.
FILE – Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Nov. 20, 2022, in Detroit. Hamlin collapsed on the field and appeared to be getting CPR before being driven off the field i (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File / AP Newsroom)
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Hamlin, 24, was playing his 16th game of the season. He had seen more time on the field as he recorded 91 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
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