Good Morning America || Damar Hamlin

Sports have a way of making you stop what you’re doing and run to a TV to watch something play out. For Damar Hamlin, it was no different, but for a more grave situation.

The Buffalo Bills safety collapsed during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. where he was administered CPR after he went into cardiac arrest. It was a terrifying incident, but Hamlin is now back on the mend and in his first interview since that horrible night, he credits a Bills’ trainer for saving his life and details how he’s feeling.

“I owe Denny my life, literally,” Hamlin told Michael Strahan in a pretaping of Good Morning America. “You know, he loves to say he was just doing his job, which is true. That night, he was literally the savior of my life, administering CPR on me.”

Denny Kellington is the Bills’ assistant athletic trainer who took over after Hamlin was hit.

“He would say he was just doing his job, but if it wasn’t for someone showing up that day with a clear mind, and whatever’s going on in their personal life, to just put it aside and just be present in the moment to be able to actually do the job correctly, that’s something I’m truly thankful for and I don’t take for granted,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin attempted to tackle Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins and fell on the field just seconds after getting up. The 24-year-old could not breathe independently and was immediately rushed to the University of Cincinnati Hospital following CPR.

The game was officially suspended, but football was the last thing on everyone’s mind.

Hamlin was released on Jan. 9 from UCH where he went closer to home at Buffalo General Medical Center, and was ultimately discharged on Jan. 11. It was a phenomenal recovery.

Dr. Thom Mayer, medical director for the NFL Players Association said he guarantees Hamlin will play professional football again.

Strahan’s sitdown with Hamlin will air Monday morning on “Good Morning America.” During the preview, Strahan asks Hamlin how he’s feeling and how he felt receiving so much love and support during his time rehabilitating.

Kellington received a fifth-place NFL MVP vote from ESPN’s Suzy Kolber. In what she referred to as a symbolic gesture, she also got the go-ahead from ESPN to make the vote.

Hamlin appears healthy, happy and thankful in the interview.

“My vision was about playing in the NFL, and being the best player that I could be. But God’s plan, was to have a greater purpose than any game in this world,” Hamlin said.

About Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jess is a baseball fan with Reno, Nev. roots residing in the Bay Area. She is the host of "Short and to the Point" and is also a broadcaster with the Oakland A's Radio Network. She previously worked for and NBC Sports Bay Area.