Iona baseball player offers advice to Damar Hamlin following similar injury

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Saturday, January 7, 2023
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BRONXVILLE, New York (WABC) -- For Buffalo native and Iona University baseball player Nick DiCarlo, watching Bills player Damar Hamlin on Monday night was eerily similar to what happened to him.

"You see him stand up and collapse. I was like, that's exactly what happened to me. I was like, 'that's exactly what happened to me. I literally took a few steps and collapsed. And then you see, you hear he's getting CPR and with the AED and everything," said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo was in the batter's box on October 27 during practice when a 90mph pitch struck him in the chest. The outfielder suffered cardiac arrest on Iona's field in Bronxville. He suffered commotio cordis.

"Commotio cordis is an incredibly rare event that happens, it's also a diagnosis of exclusion in our world, which basically means we have to rule out many other more common or more deadly or more fixable type conditions before we can settle in on an ultimate diagnosis such as that. And so he has ongoing testing," said Dr. Knight, who is treating Hamlin.

DiCarlo says from what he was told he took two steps and collapsed.

"But I don't remember any of this. I don't remember waking up to go to practice that day. My earliest memory is from the night before going to class," he said.

DiCarlo was in a coma for several days. His coach and team visited him when he came out of it and he talked to them, but doesn't remember any of it. He remembers the following day he was watching the Buffalo Bills game with his dad on Sunday night.

He was discharged after five days and is now fully recovered after a month of rehab. He is back at school and has rejoined the team.

"Our coach at Iona got everyone on the team chest protectors that have a pad over your heart area so we're gonna be wearing - I'm gonna be wearing that," DiCarlo says.

As for any advice he has for Hamlin - have patience.

"Just taking it day by day and not trying to get all better in one week. Instead of looking all forward, just taking it day by day," he says.

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