NFL Damar Hamlin Cardiac Arrest, Parents & Girlfriend: Father Jailed For Drugs

American NFL Player Damar Hamlin Recovered From Cardiac Arrest & Returned In 2023 Season

The Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin escaped a nearly fatal fate after he had a cardiac arrest during one of his games in the 2022-23 season. He’s since recovered & returned to the field.

From a family background with financial struggles, Hamlin’s journey from a young football enthusiast to an NFL star was more than a blessing for him & his parents.

Yet, it doesn’t shade away his dark past & struggle after his father saw jail time for selling drugs.

Damar, a 2021 NFL draft pick of the Bills, is currently on a four-year $3.64 million contract with the team. For sure, the scenario has changed from his financially broke childhood days, thanks to the work ethic instilled in him.

Damar Halmin Cardiac Arrest: What Happened To Him?

A Pittsburgh Panthers (2016-20) alum Hamlin’s career & potential earnings skyrocketed after the Buffalo Bills picked him in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft.

It was a dream come true moment for him. But little did he know that it would give him a nearly-death experience on January 2, 2023.

During the week 17 game (of the 2022-23 season) against the Bengals, he collapsed on the field.

The incident occurred when the Cincinnati Begans tackling wide receiver Tyler Higgins made a run for the pass from Joe Burrow. However, when he got in contact with Hamlin, Higgins collided with Hamlin’s chest.

Even if it was seemingly routine, all got in shock after the Bills’ safety stood up momentarily before passing out.

Damar Hamlin collapsed during an NFL game after a cardiac arrest in the 2022-23 season
Damar Hamlin collapsed during an NFL game after a cardiac arrest in the 2022-23 season | Source: Instagram

The medical official administered CPR and AED, before rushing him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He was sedated and was on a ventilator, which initiated a trending hashtag #PrayForDamarHamin.

As reported, he suffered a cardiac arrest & thanks to the medical officials, his heartbeat was restored on-field.

Later, the NFL star stated that he had an episode of Commotio Cordis; an extremely rare condition in cardiac rhythm disrupted by a blow to the chest.

His mother, Nina, was present in the Paycor Stadium and was escorted from the stands by local security after the incident. She remained by her son’s side throughout the treatment. Thankfully on January 6, he was able to breathe on his own.

Recovery Of Hamlin & Return To The NFL Field

After a week at the hospital, Hamlin got discharge approval from the hospital on January 9. A few weeks later, on January 22, 2023, he attended his first game since his collapse where the Bills faced a 27-10 loss to the Bengals.

The NFL safety made an on-field appearance at Super Bowl LVII.

Two months after his nearly fatal injury, he got clearance to return to the NFL on April 18, 2023. He appeared in a preseason game against the Raiders on August 12, 2023.

Damar Hamlin made his regular season return in Week 4 (October 1) against the Dolphins in the 2023 season. He came as a backup for injured Jordan Poyer and made a total of 18 snaps.

Who Are Damar Hamlin’s Parents? Does He Have A Brother?

Born on March 24, 1998, Damar Romeyelle Hamlin is the eldest of two children of his parents, Mario and Nina Hamlin. He has a younger brother, Damir Hamlin, who considers him his mentor.

As of 2024, Hamlin is 26 years old, while his little brother, born in February 2015, is 9.

Damir is already following in Damar’s footsteps in football. He goes by @mir_mirsworld3 on Instagram, where he posts pictures of him in football cleats.

Damar Hamlin with his parents, Nina & Mario, and younger brother, Damir
Damar Hamlin with his parents, Nina & Mario, and younger brother, Damir | Source: Instagram

In an interview with News 4 in 2021, the Buffalo Bills player said that he was very close with his family. As reported, his mother, Nina, was only 16, & his father, Mario, was 17 when they gave birth to Damar.

“My mom, she was 16 when she had me […]. It was probably so stressful but both of my parents had my young, at 16, and pretty much since that point, they put everything they had into me to get me to where we are right now today.”

For sure, the history of enduring struggles together & being each other’s supporting pillar brought the Hamlin family together.

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Father Jailed For Selling Drugs

Since Damar’s dad & mom embraced parenthood at a young age, they had to encounter financial troubles. So, to support the family, the NFL player’s father, Mario, began selling drugs. However, in 2010, when Hamlin was 10, his dad ended up being arrested & got a sentence of 10 years in prison.

It overlapped further financial troubles to meet the month’s end, so Damar helped his mother clean offices after school.

Hamlin with his father, Mario, who got in prison for selling drugs to support his family
Hamlin with his father, Mario, who got in prison for selling drugs to support his family | Source: Facebook

Talking about his experience of a normal childhood, he said, “I really didn’t have that type of time”. Despite his father being in jail, the football star stated he was still in his life. They stayed in touch through phone calls.

After serving three years in prison, Damar’s father got out and continued to support his family.

Now, Mario Hamlin owns a trucking company, while Nina (mother), is the co-owner of Kelly & Nina’s Daycare Center.

The Bills’ safety states his father ‘sacrificed a lot for him’ while his mom instilled in him ‘hard work and dedication.’

“There were times where I could have steered left or steered right but my parents were always there to straighten me out and get me back on the track.” 

Damar Hamlin Girlfriend: Is He Dating In 2024?

No, the 2023 George Halas Awardee doesn’t have a publicly disclosed girlfriend at the moment. There were rumors that Hamlin was secretly married, but it turned out that it was nothing more than a husk.

Seems like, Damar is giving his focus to his NFL career instead of dating.

Even if sources claim him single due to no hints of any relationship, some unwilling to buy it claim he has a secret girlfriend. If so, then let the time call for the truth!

Also Read: QB Cade McNamara Has A New Girlfriend After Break-Up With Maddie Wein

How Much Is Damar Hamlin’s Net Worth? Contract And Salary

As of 2024, Damar has an estimated net worth of $1 million, which came from his NFL contract offering a lucrative salary.

The 6-foot (1.83 m) tall and 200 lbs player is on a four-year rookie scale contract worth $3.64 million with the Buffalo Bills. The deal comes with an average annual salary of $910,119.

According to Spotrac, his contract (signed on May 21, 2021) with the Bills runs through the 2024-25 season.

For the 2023-24 season, Hamlin’s paycheck is $940K. In the final year of his deal (i.e. in the 2024 season), the NFL player will get a salary of $1.055 million.

After that, he becomes an unrestricted free agent unless the Buffalo Bills or any other team approaches him to ink a new contract.

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Endorsement Deals Of Hamlin

Aside from his NFL earnings, the football player pockets a considerable sum through endorsements. In July 2023, the sports nutrition brand Don’t Quit added him as their endorser & equity partner.

A fashion enthusiast, Damar is also a fashion entrepreneur, having started a fashion line, Chasing Millions. He has a sponsorship deal with Fashion Nova.

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