Major Medical Incidents at CNY Sports Events
Sports fans and athletes alike are still reeling after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on-field and suffered cardiac arrest during Monday night's nationally broadcast Bills-Bengals game in Cincinnati.
The overwhelming emotion seen by teary-eyed Bills' players as life-saving measures, including CPR, had to be administered to Hamlin, 24, as he lay motionless on the field will be in the minds of NFL fans and players for years to come. As of this posting on Tuesday morning, the only update available regarding Hamlin's condition is that he is in a medically induced coma at University of Cincinnati Hospital, and is currently on a respirator in critical condition. The game has been indefinitely suspended.
Unfortunately, seeing the situation play out in Cincinnati on Monday night brought back memories for many CNY sports who have witnessed jarring major medical incidents during local sporting events.
There are many more than those listed below, but here are a few that come to mind in the aftermath of Hamlin's injury:
March 17, 2004 - Cornell Senior George Boiardi dies after being struck in the chest with a lacrosse ball in a game vs. Binghamton at Cornell's Schoellkopf Field.
Cornell University Athletics suffered an awful tragedy in 2004 when Senior captain George Boiardi died from an injury sustained during a game on campus.
Via Cornell University:
With 2 minutes and 33 seconds remaining in the game, a Binghamton player took a shot at goal, and Boiardi, a defenseman, got in front of the ball to defend the goal. Play was halted when Boiardi collapsed, and all the players knelt on the field while medical personnel worked on their teammate. Cornell athletics training staff, two physicians and emergency medical personnel from the Ithaca Fire Department, Cornell Police and Bangs Ambulance attended to Boiardi and tried to resuscitate him with CPR and defibrillation.
Play was abandoned, and both teams went back to their locker rooms to await news of Boiardi's condition.
Boiardi never recovered and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later. He was just 22.
September 14, 2018 - Christian Brothers Academy player suffers cardiac arrest at football game.
A high school football player at Christian Brothers Academy, Melvin Beard, had his heart stop for an estimated 90 seconds after he collapsed on field during a game against Elmira.
Just after his team scored a touchdown, Beard was walking off the field when he fell to the ground. As reported by Syracuse.com:
What was going on was the manifestation of an undetected birth defect called a left coronary artery anomaly. It had struck right in the middle a game against Elmira as Beard was walking off the field following a CBA touchdown.
Beard was suffering a cardiac arrest, and was just a few minutes away from death. His heart stopped for about 90 seconds as he lapsed into unconsciousness.
Thankfully, Beard survived and recounted his experience with the outlet in the weeks after the incident.
September 29, 2001 - Referee Collapses, required AED on-field
Gerry Bram, a referee officiating a football game between Syracuse University and East Carolina suffered a major, heart-stopping heat attack during the game on September 29, 2001 at the Carrier Dome.
Reports say that an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) acquired several weeks before Bram's massive heart attack is credited with saving his life. Via LouisSavinoFoundation.org:
Fortunately, the University had acquired a defibrillator two months earlier. Bram was resuscitated on the field immediately, taken to a hospital, and avoided any permanent damage from his attack.
July 2007 - New York Man, 24, Dies While Running Utica Boilermaker
Sadly, the the city of Utica and the Central New York community suffered a tragic death during Utica's annual Boilermaker Road Race in 2007. Sean O'Neil, a 24-year-old runner from Brooklyn, NY was participating in the race when he collapsed approximately two-thirds of the way through the 15k race.
It was reported after the incident that O'Neill had a cardiac arrhythmia with the incident triggered by physical exertion during the race.