Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from a Cincinnati hospital and has returned to Buffalo nearly a week after he suffered cardiac arrest during a Monday night football game, with one of his doctors saying he has been “walking and tolerating a regular diet.”
Hamlin tweeted shortly after the announcement: “Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart.”
University of Cincinnati Medical Center Dr. William Knight said at a news conference Monday that "I can confirm he is doing well and this is the beginning of the next stage of his recovery."
Hamlin is “neurologically intact,” according to UC Medical Center Dr. Timothy Pritts, and has been recovering faster than expected.
Hamlin remains in a hospital in the Buffalo area but Pritts said he could soon “make a transition back to home.”
It is “entirely too premature” to determine whether Hamlin might be able to play football again, according to his doctors.
“Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling,” Hamlin tweeted. “The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world n more.”
Hamlin spent days unconscious in the intensive care unit after his stunning collapse late in the first quarter of last Monday night’s game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. For reasons still unclear, Hamlin’s heart stopped beating after he tackled a Bengals wide receiver, and it required several minutes of CPR and an electric shock from a defibrillator on the field to revive him. Hamlin was taken off the field in an ambulance, quickly being intubated as he was listed in critical condition. Encouraging updates have come since—doctors on Thursday said Hamlin awoke and asked who won the game, while the Bills said he was able to address the team via FaceTime on Friday, telling them, "Love you boys." Pritts said Hamlin watched the Bills’ win against the New England Patriots on Sunday and “set off every alarm in the ICU” when he celebrated the Bills returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Players and coaches around the NFL wore warm-up gear saying “Love for Damar 3” ahead of Sunday’s slate of games.
More than $8.6 million. That’s how much in donations have poured into a GoFundMe toy drive Hamlin sponsored, which had a goal of raising $2,500.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.