One week after he was admitted under emergency circumstances in critical condition, Bills safety Damar Hamlin was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and flown back to Buffalo on Monday.
Physicians Dr. William Knight IV and Dr. Timothy Pritts said they were “thrilled and proud” to announce Hamlin was back in Buffalo. They said tests to determine the cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest are ongoing. Corresponding treatment and additional plans for his recovery can be modeled as a next phase.
“He is doing well and this is the next stage in his recovery,” UCMC said Monday.
Hamlin’s medical team in Cincinnati provided the update Monday and said the 24-year-old passed every test in his seven days there.
Hamlin will be under the care of a medical team in Buffalo with communication between doctors in the two cities planned for several days.
The 24-year-old recovered rapidly, advancing from a ventilator to communicating via written message, then breathing on his own, talking to family, doctors and teammates, and over the weekend began walking and consuming a regular diet, UCMC announced.
Life-saving procedures performed by Bills trainers on the field in Cincinnati during the first quarter of last Monday’s game helped Hamlin reach intensive care at UCMC last week. He required CPR and use of a defibrillator moments after making a tackle with 5:58 left in the first quarter.
Hamlin’s uncle said medical personnel needed to resuscitate Hamlin twice — once at the stadium and again at the hospital — but concerns about brain function and faculties were dismissed by Wednesday morning. Hamlin began responding to verbal commands by squeezing the hands of doctors and loved ones, but he was still listed in critical condition.
UCMC’s medical team gradually reduced the use of breathing aids as Hamlin’s lung strength and capacity improved. By the end of the week, Hamlin was communicating with his Bills’ teammates and talked in person with several friends and former teammates, including Eagles running back Miles Sanders and Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd.
A fundraising toy drive organized by Hamlin via Go Fund Me revealed measures of the love and support he received with donations from current and former NFL players, teams and fans pushing “The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive” far past the goal of $2,500.
By the time Hamlin’s return to Buffalo was made public on Monday, the fundraiser was at $8,628,530, with more than 244,500 donations.
–Field Level Media