Heart health advocate stresses importance of knowing CPR after Bills' Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest

"A lot of people in the community know me as Nurse Knuckles."

Her actual name is Donulae Knuckles and she says her nickname proudly, because she’s helped save lives.

Her photos show some of the many hats this mother wears - from being a team nurse while her son played football for Cass Tech High School, to working with Governor Gretchen Whitmer on promoting the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, and using her story as a stroke survivor to help others.

So when Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during a tackle on Monday Night Football, it hit Donulae personally.

"I was so afraid when they said CPR to me, it was like, oh this is an emergency right now," she said. "Because you initiate CPR when you are not breathing, and you don’t have a heartbeat."

Doctors tell FOX 2 that CPR performed so quickly after Hamlin collapsed, likely saved his life.

"A lot of people have reached out to me to get CPR classes going, and that’s important," she said.

Donulae runs Knuckles Health Education Services, which specializes in CPR training. According to the American Heart Association, trained bystanders saved 46 percent of people who suffered cardiac arrest outside of a hospital.

Donulae’s work also focuses on heart and blood screenings.  She says while what happened to Damar Hamlin was rare. It’s a good opportunity to get checked out…because what’s not rare — and can be prevented — are heart disease and high blood pressure.

"My whole point is to educate people, empower people, serve the people so that we can save lives," she said.

To learn more about the Knuckles Health Education Services, GO HERE for it's Facebook page.  

Donulae Knuckles

Donulae Knuckles