One week after he was admitted under emergency circumstances in critical condition, NFL player Damar Hamlin has been released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) and flown back to Buffalo.
- Buffalo Bills NFL player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after a hit during a game last week
- Doctors in Cincinnati said his recovery was going well and would continue in a Buffalo hospital
- Hamlin watched the Bills’ final regular season game on TV and doctors said he was touched by the support from fans
Doctors William Knight IV and Timothy Pritts said they were “thrilled and proud” to announce Hamlin had been transferred to a hospital in Buffalo, saying tests to determine the cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest were ongoing, with his recovery continuing with a care team in a hospital in the western New York city.
Hamlin’s medical team in Cincinnati said the 24-year-old passed every test in his seven days there and was “doing well” as he moved on to the next stage of his recovery.
Hamlin posted on social media that the staff at Buffalo General Medical Center had already made him feel at home.
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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 doctors said Hamlin’s recovery was standard or perhaps slightly advanced, moving 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.
Hamlin is “neurologically intact” and walking normally, albeit a bit weak after his time in hospital.
Doctors said he even watched Buffalo’s 35-23 win over New England to finish the regular season on Monday (AEDT), which included Buffalo’s Nyheim Hines running two kick-offs back for touchdowns.
This included the opening kick-off of the game.
“He was beyond excited and feels very supported by the outpouring of love,” Dr Pritts said.
“When the opening kick-off was run back he jumped up and down, got out of his chair. He set every alarm off in the ICU in the process, but he was fine it was just an appropriate reaction to a very exciting play.”
After having their penultimate regular season game against the Cincinnati Bengals called off after Hamlin’s collapse, the Bills finished the regular season against New England and play Miami in the first week of the playoffs. If they win that game, they could meet the Bengals again, if they beat Baltimore.
Life-saving procedures performed by Bills trainers on the field in Cincinnati during the first quarter of last week’s game helped Hamlin reach intensive care at UCMC last week.
He required CPR on the field and the use of a defibrillator moments after making a tackle with 5:58 left in the first quarter, and Dr Knight IV described it as “a textbook resuscitation”, saying he hoped it encouraged more people to get trained in CPR.
The doctors said “it is entirely too premature to discuss” his return to football, saying if he decides to play again that it would be “significantly into the future”, with the current focus on getting him back to full health.
A fundraising toy drive organised 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 $US2,500 ($3,616).
By the time Hamlin’s return to Buffalo was made public, the fundraiser was beyond $US12.4 million, with more than 244,500 donations.