COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Details of the on-field medical accident vary, but what happened to 24-year-old Damar Hamlin evokes memories of 2012 for Middle Ohio high school football referee Julius Palazzo. increase.
Holding the referee’s jersey he wore on September 28, 2012, he said, “I kept this hidden as a reminder of what happened and the fact that I got the treatment I needed and survived.
It’s a day Palazzo said never to forget. However, many of the details of what happened that night were passed on to him by others.
He was officiating a big high school football game between Bishop Hartley and Bishop Waterson. It was in the second quarter that he had a heart attack. The jersey he still has is ripped from where paramedics had to place an automated external defibrillator (AED).
“I just wanted the memory of that night. This is kind of what the first responders did to keep me alive,” Palazzo said. “They knew what to do.”
Julius Palazzo was watching Monday night’s game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals on TV. When Hamlin collapsed after the tackle, Palazzo said he was reminded of the heart attack he had on the field more than a decade ago.
“That’s what really scared me watching that whole episode,” Palazzo said. “The more memories came back and the longer it took, the more I worried about him.”
What happened to Hamlin is yet to be determined. Palazzo said he probably wouldn’t have survived if he hadn’t been in the game surrounded by medical professionals and people who helped him, so he encourages everyone to learn his CPR.
“I think every normal person needs to know how to do CPR and how to use an AED because it can make a big difference in saving someone’s life. I know first hand,” he said.
Palazzo resumed refereeing matches about a year after suffering a heart attack. Like people across the country, he hopes that Hamlin’s condition will continue to improve.
“I hope he can resume the life he had before it happened, whether it’s football or not,” Palazzo said.
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