IOWA — What should have been a battle on the football field between two of the top teams in the NFL turned into a fight for one player’s life on live television on Monday night. Buffalo Bills’ defensive back Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after being hit in the chest by an opponent’s helmet on what seemed like a routine tackle. Hamlin stood up after the hit, then collapsed motionless on the ground. Medical professionals and EMTs rushed to his side and were able to restart his heart on the field. He remains in critical condition on Tuesday evening – the remainder of the Bills and Bengals’ game was canceled.

Dr. Denise Sorrentino is a sports cardiologist specialist Denise Sorrentino. She joined Erin Kiernan on the WHO 13 News at 4pm to discuss what may have happened to Hamlin. She says a seemingly perfectly healthy individual – like Hamlin – could have suffered from an undetected heart defect that was inflamed by the hit or physical nature of the game. Sorrentino says Hamlin faces a long recovery and a search for a cause to the cardiac event that caused his heart to stop beating.

She says she is very hopeful that he will make a full recovery and that treatments heart conditions have improved exponentially in the last five to ten years.