Monday, July 15, 2024

Growing up, John Bush Jr. participated in boxing, basketball, and football. However, on January 2nd, Bush found himself in a different role as part of a relay team responsible for saving the life of Damar Hamlin. As a respiratory therapist on the Paycor Stadium emergency action team, Bush had been on the sidelines for every NFL game but had never stepped onto the field. That all changed when Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during a game between the Bills and Bengals. Bush and the UC team sprang into action, ignoring the crowd and focusing solely on saving Hamlin’s life. The team performed CPR, utilized an Ambu bag, and intubated Hamlin before rushing him to the hospital. While the medical team at the stadium prepared for Hamlin’s arrival, Bush rode in the ambulance with him. It felt like an eternity for the medical team as they awaited his arrival, but upon his entrance, they were prepared to provide the necessary care. The world anxiously waited and prayed for Hamlin’s recovery, and his return as an active NFL player was unexpected, yet inspiring. The incident prompted a surge in sales for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) as people recognized the importance of having them readily available in all sporting venues. Furthermore, Hamlin and his foundation have been actively involved in CPR training and providing AEDs for youth sports. UC Medical Center has also expanded its CPR education program, reaching out to the community to teach hands-only CPR and AED usage. Hamlin’s recovery has brought relief to the medical team involved, and Bush was able to see him again four days after the incident, sharing a joyful moment with him and his family. This weekend, the Bills and Hamlin will return to Paycor Stadium, and Bush will join them in celebrating at a steakhouse in downtown Cincinnati.

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