Denny Kellington, the Buffalo Bills athletic trainer who was credited for saving safety Damar Hamlin's life, will give a commencement speech at his alma matter, Oklahoma State University, during its undergraduate ceremonies in May, the school announced in a news release on Thursday (August 13).
Kellington, who graduated from OSU in 2000, heroically performed life-saving CPR to revive Hamlin after the 25-year-old suffered cardiac arrest during a since-canceled Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in January. The trainer will serve as the keynote speaker during the graduation ceremony scheduled for May 13.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to address the 2023 graduates at Oklahoma State University,” Kellington said via OSU's official website. “To have the chance to return to my alma mater, where I sat many years ago, and to share my personal and professional journey, is absolutely amazing. Oklahoma State University was a vital part of my journey, and I am extremely thankful to have the chance to share how my experiences here impacted my life while encouraging graduates to be active members in their communities and chosen professions.”
“At Oklahoma State, the Cowboy Code and a spirit of service are foundational to our culture,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum. “When the world was watching, Denny Kellington and the Buffalo Bills medical team responded immediately with lifesaving action. He is the epitome of what it means to be an OSU Cowboy, and we are honored to have him come back to his alma mater to share his inspirational story with our graduates.”
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest at Paycor Stadium on January 2. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.
Hamlin was hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and initially reported to be in critical condition before making a miraculous recovery, which coincided with an outpouring of support from players, coaches and fans. A GoFundMe page initially launched by Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation to support a toy drive prior to his medical situation -- and later to support his recovery after far exceeding its $2,500 goal -- raised more than $9 million.
The Pittsburgh native was released from UC Medical Center one week after suffering cardiac arrest and discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute after completing a series of tests and evaluations two days later.
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