‘Absolutely Vital': Meet the Ex-Syracuse Trainer That Saved Damar Hamlin’s Life
The job description for the athletic trainer of a football team is extremely broad.
Sure, it boils down to one central concept: if someone is hurt, you figure out why, and how to make it better. That being said, an athlete can be "hurt" in endless ways, and no matter what the diagnosis is, a trainer must find a way to deal with it. Decisions have to be made in split-seconds, and in most cases, action has to be taken immediately.
Sometimes, on a football field, a life-or-death situation will begin to unfold, and that's exactly what happened to the training staff of the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
It was at that point, that Denny Kellington became a hero.
Meet Denny Kellington, the Trainer Who Administered CPR to Damar Hamlin
In the aftermath of Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest episode on Monday night in Cincinnati, we're beginning to learn more about who was involved in saving the 24-year old's life. One name that everyone is learning this week is Denny Kellington, assistant trainer for the Buffalo Bills, who's story was told by Syracuse.com and other media outlets.
A member of the Bills' staff since 2017, Kellington was one of several medical professionals working with Damar Hamlin following his collapse on the field at Paycor Stadium on Monday.
As such, Kellington was responsible for administering CPR, and using an AED, to restore Hamlin's heartbeat before he was able to be taken to a hospital. The report quotes Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, who described Kellington's work as “absolutely vital” and “a huge difference-maker" in the restoration of Hamlin's pulse.
Before moving to the Bills' staff in 2017, Kellington spent 11 years with Syracuse athletics, first in an assistant role, before moving up to head athletic trainer with the football program.
Denny Kellington has been an unsung hero of Upstate New York sports since 2005, and now, he's finally being given the praise he's deserved for quite some time for life-saving decisions he and his colleagues made on Monday night.
Check out this news package done on Kellington by KJRH-TV in his home state of Oklahoma.
Because of the actions of Kellington and those around him on-the-field, Damar Hamlin was able to be resuscitated a first time, and transported to Cincinnati Medical Center. Reports claimed that a second resuscitation became necessary at the hospital, and from that point on, the football world waited with bated breath for any type of news.
Then, late Wednesday night, Hamlin was reported to be awake and alert. He now-famously asked doctors if the Bills had won the football game, to which they responded that he had won the game of life.
Now, it appears as though Hamlin is on the road to recovery, and there are numerous people that deserve the praise of millions of football fans for their efforts in saving Damar Hamlin's life.
One such person is Denny Kellington, a long-time Upstate New York football trainer, and a person who deserves all of the credit he's been receiving in recent days, and then some, for what he was able to do Monday night.