Waseca coach reflects on this week’s medical incident involving NFL player Damar Hamlin
WASECA, Minn. (KEYC) - Seeing Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin collapse on the football field was an all-too-familiar sight for Waseca coach, Brad Wendland.
Wendland suffered a cardiac arrest over a year ago during a football game.
NFL football player, Damar Hamlin, suffered a cardiac arrest after a collision during a game Monday night.
Medical personnel rushed to his aid to perform C-P-R.
The Buffalo Bills later confirmed that the heartbeat of the 24-year-old was restored on the field.
“With cardiac arrests, it typically happens very suddenly for a patient,” said Elizabeth Evers, PA with Mankato Clinic, “They may collapse, their heart may go into an abnormal rhythm, that is typical and then it [heart] will eventually stop.”
This event brought a lot of memories to a Waseca High School teacher and coach, Brad Wendland, who not only shares the love of the sport but, now, a similar story.
“Having this rush of blood in my head and in my mind, I said to myself, ‘Ok, I’m just going to take a knee and allow this feeling to pass’” said Wendland, “Well, what happened was I collapsed at that moment and was unconscious for approximately three to five minutes.”
Since collapsing on the field in September, 2021, the Waseca coach works to bring awareness of cardiac arrest, as well as the importance of CPR training and identifying the locations of AEDs wherever you go.
“Luckily for me, I was in the presence of both Waseca’s trainer as well as St. Peter’s trainer (both with CPR training), and then as well as some people in the stands who were in the medical field,” said Wendlend.
The American Heart Association says if CPR is performed immediately, it can double or triple the chance of survival from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
“The importance is being CPR trained,” said Evers (PA), “I don’t think people realize how important it is and that you don’t need medical training to save a life.”
“Your chances in your life when you are crossing paths with someone who was experiencing something with their heart isn’t that low,” said Wendland, “And you know, to have knowledge of where an AED is could make a difference in your life and the lives of other people.”
Brad Wendland returned to Waseca high school weeks after his cardiac arrest episode.
He is teaching US history and psychology and coaching Football and Track.
The Buffalo Bills said today that Damar Hamlin remains hospitalized in critical condition but displayed signs of improvement yesterday and overnight.
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