By Rachel Steinberg, PA
Damar Hamlin has been released from hospital in Cincinnati and is returning to Buffalo just one week after suffering a cardiac arrest in an NFL game.
The 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety’s heart stopped nine minutes into last Monday’s match against the Cincinnati Bengals when he collided with wide receiver Tee Higgins.
Hamlin had been recovering at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC), but was released on Monday to continue his recovery at a hospital in Buffalo.
He tweeted: “Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart. Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling.
Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart. 🏾
Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling.
The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world n more.
Bigger than football! 🏾
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 9, 2023
“The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world n more. Bigger than football!”
He added: “Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC. Happy to be back in Buffalo. The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home!”
The Bills, who beat the New England Patriots 35-23 on Sunday in their first game back since the incident, released a statement on social media, quoting the hospital, which read: “We are thrilled and proud to share that Damar Hamlin has been released from the hospital and returned to Buffalo.
“He is doing well and this is the next stage of his recovery.”
UCMC doctors William Knight and Timothy Pritts, who have provided updates since Hamlin collapsed on the field last Monday, addressed the latest development in a press conference.
An amazing update. ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/Do1P1nKQWI
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 9, 2023
Dr Pritts clarified Hamlin’s breathing tube came out early on Friday morning, the same day he walked his first lap, and said: “He has continued to make good progress since.
“He has worked with physical therapy and had assisted walks with the nursing staff on Friday, continuing to regain strength. He’s certainly on what we consider a very normal to even accelerated trajectory from the life-threatening event that he underwent.”
Dr Pritts reiterated that Hamlin “appears to be neurologically completely intact, and there is no reason to believe that he won’t continue his path to recovery”.
Dr Knight was delighted by the progress Hamlin had made since he was taken to hospital in the middle of the subsequently-suspended match, but said it was too soon to speculate about the athlete’s return to action.
He said: “I think we’re in the same place we were in the last discussion [which] is that it is entirely too premature to discuss not only his football, it’s that we’re really focused on his day-to-day recovery.
“He still has a little bit of a ways to go in terms of his ongoing recovery, we’re thrilled to where he is today. He’s up, he’s walking around, he’s got an amazing, genuine sense of humour and his family is amazing and we’re happy he’s with them.
“But in terms of any kind of conjecture to his future that’s still significantly into the future and it’s going to be up to Damar and a great team of physicians to help him.”