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Damar Hamlin, Panthers team up to teach players and staff CPR

The event will take place on Monday, April 3 at the Atrium Health Dome.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In an effort to have more people in the Charlotte community about lifesaving measures, the Carolina Panthers were joined by Damar Hamlin to train players and staff on CPR and other skills.

"We're in Arizona, I was at a lunch," Nicole Tepper explained. "I look up from this lunch and I see Damar standing in the back of the room, and my knees buckled. I think I did tear up, and I beeline to the bar like a fan girl. I introduced myself, I tell him who I was. I started talking really fast... I started telling him the story, how we were going to donate to The Chasing M's Foundation and then we decided we're going to do CPR training and all of this stuff. He just looked at me with this unbelievable smile and he said I will be there."

The session took place on April 3 at 10:45 a.m. at the Atrium Health Dome in Charlotte and was hosted by the American Heart Association. 

"You know, I always grew up wanting to be a football player, I wanted to make it to the NFL," Damar Hamlin said. "You know, this situation has just brought a whole bigger life purpose for me and I want to continue to do my part."

According to a release, the CPR automated external defibrillator (AED) course provides the highest level of training in the lifesaving skills of CPR and how to use an AED.

Hamlin, Nicole Tepper, and Nancy Brown, the CEO of the American Heart Association, were special guest speakers at the event.

Kevin King, the Panthers' head athletic trainer, along with several Atrium Health and American Heart Association personnel spoke to participants.

The event was also open to Panthers PSL owners.

Hamlin, the safety for the Buffalo Bills, is now associated with CPR and AED after he suffered cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game on Jan. 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I just want to keep raising awareness and trying to get as many people out there that we can CPR certified because you never know when you can be a hero," Hamlin explained. "My trainers, like Nancy said, everything went how it was supposed to go because they were well trained and well prepared. They took the proper time in making sure if moments like that happen, that they know what they're doing and that's exactly what we're going to do here today."

First responders rendered CPR and an AED to Hamlin for 10 minutes before administering oxygen and an IV. He was then taken to a hospital and the game was suspended.

Hamlin received a wave of support from people across the country, even outside of NFL circles, as people wished him well on his road to recovery.

The safety was discharged after nine days in the hospital and has since been active in philanthropic efforts.

"The real story is that I met a forever friend, who I'm extremely proud of, I will always have his back, I will always support him," Tepper said. "I'm his biggest fan. I just can't be more excited that he took the time out of his schedule because you know, you're all watching him, right? He's making a difference in this world."

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