Iona baseball player discusses similarities between his cardiac arrest episode and Damar Hamlin's

Nick DiCarlo says he was in the middle of baseball practice last October at Iona University in Bronxville when he was struck in the chest by fastball and suffered cardiac arrest.

Diane Caruso

Jan 6, 2023, 10:32 PM

Updated 503 days ago

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An Iona baseball player is sharing his story of going into cardiac arrest on the school's field as Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin recovers from his episode Monday night. 
Nick DiCarlo says he was in the middle of baseball practice last October at Iona University in Bronxville when he was struck in the chest by fastball and suffered cardiac arrest.
"I remember going to class the night before on Wednesday and then I woke up in the hospital on Saturday," he says.  
DiCarlo, a self-described Bills fan who lives in a Buffalo suburb, described his connection to Hamlin's. 
"The hit, it's just a normal football hit. We've seen it a hundred times, but I saw him stand up and take a few steps and collapse, and I immediately thought like that's exactly what happened to me. I got hit, took a few steps and collapsed," he says. 
John DiCarlo, Nick's father, says following Hamlin's progress has been eerily similar to what happened to his son.
"It's very strange, like almost to the hour it's mirroring Nick's recovery," he says. 
The incident is a rare one, but it happened to two athletes in different sports at different levels just within three months of one another.
"Since 1995, like 20 cases a year, that's what my doctors told me, it's just so scary to hear," says Nick DiCarlo.
Nick's recovery was remarkably quick. He was back on the field after Thanksgiving break.
"I really didn't have any restrictions, I was able to practice with the team and do everything that I would normally do," he says. 
Nick is taking his near-death experience to now advocate for proper protective gear and raise awareness of the risk.


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