Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin (3) leaves the field after...

Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin (3) leaves the field after an NFL game against the Patriots on Dec. 1, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: AP/Greg M. Cooper

Mario and Nina Hamlin, the parents of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, were honored guests at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection concert at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Wednesday night.

The event, which began with celebrities walking the red carpet and culminated with the concert, was designed to increase awareness in heart health and CPR.

Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of the Bills’ Monday Night Football game on Jan. 2 in Cincinnati. Hamlin received CPR on the field by medical personnel before being taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he spent a week before being moved to Buffalo General Medical Center.

Hamlin was discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center on Jan. 11, and appeared at the Bills’ divisional round playoff game at Highmark Stadium 11 days later, watching the 27-10 loss to the Bengals from a luxury box.

He spoke publicly for the first time Saturday, when the Bills released a video on their YouTube channel of Hamlin speaking from a team meeting room.

“It was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time,” Hamlin said in the video. “It was a lot to process within [myself], mentally, physically, even spiritually.”  

The 24-year–old announced an initiative Tuesday to increase CPR awareness and education in another video. Partnering with the AHA, the campaign is called ‘The Damar Hamlin 3 For Heart challenge.’ In it, Hamlin asked the public “to watch a short video to learn hands-only CPR. Step two, donate to the AHA to fund CPR awareness and education. Step three, challenge three friends to do the same.” Hamlin challenged Tom Brady, LeBron James, and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mario Hamlin declined comment when approached by Newsday before the concert.

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