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Bills DB Damar Hamlin gets heart tattoo on anniversary of cardiac arrest

Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin got a heart tattoo to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a cardiac arrest that nearly killed him.

Miami-based tattoo artist Alexander Brenes shared a photo of Hamlin’s fresh ink on Instagram, with the caption, “1 year later still locked inn (sic).”

The tattoo depicts a pair of hands making the shape of a heart, which holds a line from a heart monitor screen.

Millions watched as the 25-year-old cornerback collapsed during a Jan. 2, 2022 game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio. He went down following a freak blow to the chest during an otherwise routine tackle and remained limp on the field for nearly 20 minutes.

Hamlin was hospitalized for a week, got himself back into shape and returned to the football field on Oct. 1.

His absence sparked conspiracy theories attempting to link COVID-19 vaccinations to his cardiac arrest. The most absurd corners of the internet even speculated a Hamlin body-double was being used by some sort of deep state to cover up his death.

In reality, Hamlin’s very real medical mishap inspired some involved in amateur sports to invest in automated external defibrillators, like the one that helped save Hamlin’s life, and to learn CPR, according to the American Heart Association.

Hamlin’s return to football immediately made him a leading candidate for the NFL’s “Comeback Player of the Year” Award, despite him not having logged a lot of playing time in 2023. His teammate, quarterback Josh Allen, is also in the running to win that award next month.

The Bills will next play the Miami Dolphins in a Sunday night matchup between the top-rated division rivals on the last day of the NFL’s regular season.