The Buffalo Bills announced on Wednesday that their player, Damar Hamlin, has been released from a Buffalo hospital after being hospitalized for over a week due to a cardiac arrest during a game on “Monday Night Football” earlier this month.
According to officials at Buffalo General Medical Center in New York, the 24-year-old safety for the Bills had been making quick progress before he was discharged.
“We have conducted a series of examinations and assessments, and after consulting with our team doctors, we are certain that Damar can be discharged with confidence to continue his recovery at home and with the Bills,” stated Dr. Jamie Nadler, the physician overseeing Hamlin’s treatment in Buffalo. The statement was released by the Bills on Twitter on Wednesday.
Initially, Hamlin was admitted to a hospital in Cincinnati after his heart unexpectedly stopped following a tackle in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2. However, on Monday, he was transferred to a Buffalo facility after doctors concluded that his condition had improved sufficiently for the move.
Doctors at the Buffalo hospital were trying to determine why Hamlin suffered the cardiac arrest, Kaleida Health, the group of hospitals that includes the Buffalo medical center, said before his discharge. That included whether pre-existing conditions played a role in the event, which shocked many around the country and prompted a huge outpouring of support for the second-year NFL player.
The Bills announced on Twitter that Hamlin underwent a thorough medical examination, including tests for cardiac, neurological, and vascular health on Tuesday.
The reason for Hamlin’s heart attack has not been disclosed to the public.
Hamlin expressed his appreciation to Buffalo General for their warm welcome and requested for prayers on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Bills coach Sean McDermott stated that it is up to Hamlin to determine when he will rejoin the team as he recovers.
“McDermott expressed his gratitude that Hamlin is reunited with his family, especially his parents and brother. The Bills are gearing up to face the Miami Dolphins in a playoff game on Sunday. There is currently no set timeline for Hamlin’s return to the professional football scene.”
McDermott stated that the decision to return to the team will be left up to him, as his health is our top priority. Whenever he feels prepared, we will gladly welcome him back.
While in critical condition in Cincinnati, Hamlin was sedated and on a ventilator for days. On Friday morning the breathing tube was removed, and Hamlin began walking with some help by that afternoon, his doctors said Monday.
The doctors stated that the health care team’s main concern was to stabilize Hamlin. They were able to upgrade his condition on Monday as his organ systems had become stable and he did not require intensive nursing or respiratory therapy anymore.
Earlier this week, Dr. Timothy Pritts, chief of surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, stated that the patient is making excellent progress and is following a typical or even expedited path to recovery after the life-threatening incident he experienced.
On Monday, Pritts stated that a typical recovery from a cardiac arrest can take several weeks to months. However, Hamlin has been surpassing that timeline at every stage and has no neurological issues.
The prompt response played a crucial role in the rescue of Hamlin.
After Hamlin fell to the ground following a tackle on a Bengals wide receiver, medical staff swiftly arrived and performed CPR, ultimately saving his life.
Hamlin’s heart had stopped, and medical responders revived it twice before putting him into an ambulance and taking him to the hospital. The immediate actions of medical personnel were vital to “not just saving his life, but his neurological function,” said Pritts.
The unsettling sight of Hamlin abruptly landing on his back while getting up from the tackle caused distress among his teammates, fellow players, and countless fans watching.
The NFL initially delayed and then ultimately called off the game – a choice that some ex-football players saw as a change in prioritizing the well-being of players both mentally and physically.
Currently, the Bills organization is promoting the importance of learning how to administer CPR, a crucial skill that can save lives.
According to the statement, the team has promised to provide resources such as CPR certifications, automated external defibrillator units, and guidance for creating cardiac emergency response plans in the Buffalo community. The Bills also urge their fans to show support by getting certified in CPR.
This report was contributed to by Jason Hanna from CNN.