In June of 2022, the Pegula family — owners of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres — announced that Kim Pegula, the president of both franchises and the most prominent figure in the family, had been hospitalized due to unexpected health issues. One brief update about her progress later that month is all the family had been willing to reveal about Pegula’s health since then.
On Tuesday morning, tennis star Jessica Pegula, Kim and Terry Pegula’s daughter, published more about the nature of Kim’s health issues in a letter for The Players’ Tribune. In it, she revealed that Kim Pegula suffered a cardiac arrest last summer, required CPR as a life-saving measure, and is still recovering from the incident, eight months later.
“Today, my mom is still in recovery,” wrote Jessica Pegula, “and although it is the same answer every time someone asks me, it is true, she is improving every day. She is dealing with significant expressive aphasia and significant memory issues. She can read, write, and understand pretty well, but she has trouble finding the words to respond.”
The article focuses not just on the specific details of that night and Kim’s subsequent progress made, but also the difficulty that the Pegula family had in adjusting to their new normal. Then, when Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during Monday Night Football on January 2, 2023, the Pegulas felt it all over again.
“My stomach sunk because it felt like the exact same thing all over again,” Jessica Pegula wrote of the Hamlin incident. “I was sitting on the bench for a tennis event in Sydney, Australia. I wanted to throw up. I was supposed to go on for mixed doubles in 15 minutes and I remember telling one of my teammates, ‘I am a little freaked out right now, this is too close to home, and I feel like I am going to have a panic attack.’ Again, I usually don’t get too much anxiety, but the thought of what Damar and his family were about to go through hurt my heart. I knew how important time was. I just kept thinking time, time, time, time... The medical staff and trainers who assisted that night really saved his life and were tremendous in his recovery.”
As Kim Pegula continues her recovery, Jessica Pegula also wrote directly to the Buffalo community, which has been waiting for the better part of a year for an update on Kim’s health.
“Thank you to the Buffalo community for your patience,” she wrote. “I know you have wanted answers and it took us a while to get there but it finally felt like it was time. Thank you to everyone who has respected privacy and shown me and my family tremendous support throughout this ongoing journey.”