Just a week after Damar Hamlin experienced a cardiac arrest episode during the Bills-Bengals game, University of Cincinnati Health physicians announced Hamlin has been released from the hospital and transported to a local hospital in Buffalo.
"Dr. Pritts and I are thrilled and proud on behalf of UC to report to you that Damar Hamlin has been released and returned to Buffalo," UC Health physician Dr. William Knight said. "I traveled with him to the airport this morning with our UC Health air care and mobile care crew, including teammates who were with us on the field when Damar Hamlin collapsed. He landed safely and as standard as anybody who has gone through what he's gone through this past week, and certainly after flying on a plane, he is going to be observed and monitored to ensure that there is no impact on the flight of his condition or on his lungs."
The UC Health physicians last updated us on Thursday and said since then Hamlin has made a number of improvements like having his breathing tube removed on Friday morning.
"Since then he has been extubated and has gone through a weaning of his oxygen," Dr. Knight said. "He has been up with physical therapy and occupational therapy, walking the unit, tolerating a regular diet, meeting with his family and many members of the care team that wanted to see how he was doing all to get him to this point that he could be safely returned to Buffalo."
These key milestones that Hamlin has met has allowed him to move from critical condition to fair or good, which is the reason why he was able to move out of the ICU and return to Buffalo.
The physicians said it's still too early to discuss Hamlin's future in football, but they are thrilled with where he's at today.
"He appears to be neurologically completely intact, and there's no reason to believe that he won't continue his path to recovery," UC Health physician Dr. Timothy Pritts said.
Doctors said Hamlin was elated to watch the Bills game on Sunday afternoon with his family.
"He was beyond excited and feels very supported by the outpouring of love from across the league, especially from the Buffalo area," Dr. Pritts said. "We've learned this week that the Bills Mafia is a very real thing, and we all feel the love from you all in Western New York."
When Nyheim Hines returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, Hamlin might have been the most excited person out of anyone watching.
"When the opening kickoff was run back, he jumped up and down, got out of his chair and set I think every alarm off in the ICU in the process," Dr. Pritts said with a laugh. "But he was fine. It was just an appropriate reaction to a very exciting play."
When Hamlin first woke up, he asked doctors, "Who won?" Hamlin now has an answer of his own.
"He had originally asked who had won and now his answer to that is that we all won," Dr. Pritts shared. "He's won as a patient. And hopefully everybody will go out and get trained in CPR so that you too can save a life some day."
The doctors said many have reached out asking how they can help. Their answer is to encourage everyone to get trained in CPR, support public access to defibrillators and thank the people at your local medical centers.
An emotional win at Highmark Stadium. Check out the best postgame photos from Buffalo's 35-23 win over the Patriots to close the 2022 regular season.