Several notable names are among the top donors to a GoFundMe page initially launched by Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin as part of a toy drive prior to his hospitalization this week.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft donated $18,003 to the fundraiser on behalf of the Patriots franchise Tuesday (January 4).
ESPN's Mike Reiss pointed out that the donation made by Kraft, who is Jewish, is symbolic within the Jewish faith as 18 is "chai," which signifies life and "3" is Hamlin's number.
Hanold Associates CEO Jason Hanold was listed as the top donor with $20,000 contributed.
Several veteran NFL quarterbacks were also among the charity's top donors.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford donated $12,000; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady donated $10,000; and Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara, donated $10,000.
A total of $6,324,060 was raised as of Wednesday (January 4) morning, far exceeding the charity's initial goal of $2,500, according to the GoFundMe page.
An update shared on Tuesday clarified that further contributions would go toward Hamlin's ongoing medical battle.
Hamlin collapsed suddenly on the field during Monday's (January 3) game and was hospitalized, which the Bills later said was due to cardiac arrest.
On Tuesday, Hamlin's uncle, Dorrian Glenn, told NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe that Hamlin is still on a ventilator, but has improved to 50% oxygen needed after being at 100%.
"Right now they've got him on a ventilator so they're trying to get him to breathe on his own, so we're just kinda taking it day-by-day," Glenn said on Tuesday (January 3). "Still in the ICU, they have him sedated, so just continue to administer the medical treatment that they've been doing.
"I'm really really thankful for the medical staff that's been working him. They've been truly awesome at helping him with his recovery. It was a truly scary scene to witness that yesterday, as everyone in the country probably can agree with.
"I would've felt the way I felt no matter who it was, but for that to be my nephew, it was especially more of a gut punch to see that. But I'm thankful that he's still here, he's still alive and he's still fighting."
Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of Monday's game and got back to his feet before suddenly falling to the ground. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.
The second-year safety was reported to be critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed in an official statement on behalf of the league shared Monday night that also confirmed the official postponement of the game.
"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills," the NFL said in its statement. "We will provide more information as it becomes available.
Both teams were at midfield when Hamlin was taken away in the ambulance. Hamlin's family was with him when he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which is located about two miles from Paycor Stadium.
The 24-year-old fell to the ground at around 8:55 p.m. and ESPN diverted its live broadcast from the field to the studio at around 9:08 p.m.
The game was temporarily suspended at 9:17 p.m. before being officially suspended nearly an hour later.
Hamlin was selected by the Bills at No. 212 overall in the sixth-round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The 24-year-old started in 13 of the 15 games he appeared in and recorded 91 tackles, six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks during his second season
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