CINCINNATI (WIVB) — UC Health officials said Bills safety Damar Hamlin was released from UC Medical Center on Monday morning and flew back to Buffalo, where he will continue to recover at Buffalo General Medical Center and Gates Vasuclar Institute.
In an update provided by Kaleida Health on Tuesday, hospital officials said Hamlin “is in good spirits” and was joined by his mother, father and younger brother.
The medical team at Buffalo General Medical Center and Gates Vascular Institute will be working towards identifying any possible causes of the event, potentially treating any pathology that may be found, as well as plan for his recovery, discharge and rehabilitation.
This comes a week after Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest while on the field with the Bills in their game against the Bengals, which was later canceled after being postponed.
“We want to ensure that each organ system is stable to improving and that he needs minimal amount of assistance in terms of intensive nursing,” Dr. Timothy Pritts, chief of general surgery at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said.
Doctors said that Hamlin began walking on Friday, which is also when a breathing tube got taken out. They say that his recovery is on a normal-to-accelerated path and did not suffer a spine injury.
Doctors at UC Medical said that when Bills running back Nyheim Hines ran back the opening kickoff in the Bills’ 35-23 win against the New England Patriots, Hamlin was jumping around and yelling, which set off “every” alarm in the ICU in the process.
“He was fine, it was just an appropriate reaction to a very exciting play,” a doctor said.
“There is no reason to believe he won’t continue his path to recovery,” one doctor said, but said it is “entirely premature” to determine if Hamlin will be able to play football again.
Hamlin returns to Western New York just a week after he collapsed on Monday Night Football. He is now in stable condition.
“Our collective focus from day one has been keeping Damar at the center to ensure a good outcome for him. Since our last update to you, Damar Hamlin has met several key milestones on his journey to recovery,” Dr. William Knight IV, emergency medicine department at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, added.
Hamlin tweeted on Monday afternoon shortly after the news was announced, “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 I plan to put back into the world [and] more. Bigger than football!”
Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott said he is grateful Hamlin is back in Western New York. McDermott was also excited Hamlin got to watch the team’s regular season finale against the Patriots on Sunday. McDermott added he was not surprised Hamlin was jumping out of his chair at some of the explosive plays.
“That’s great to hear. I’m super excited for him that he got a chance to watch it for sure. He’s such a great person and he’s got such a positive spirit, it doesn’t surprise me,” McDermott told the media on Monday.
Fans are equally as thrilled to have Hamlin back in Western New York. Nicholas Pawlak was at the game in Cincinnati. He says Hamlin’s recovery is extraordinary.
“When we were at the game, things just weren’t looking good for anybody. And to hear that he is walking and he was jumping up and down when he saw some of the plays happen, it’s amazing to see that kind of recovery,” Pawlak said.
Others were excited to share the good news with their loved ones. Bills Mafia and the entire NFL community breathed a sigh of relief.
“It was actually so cool. I texted my mom and everything and she was so happy too. It’s just really cool to see he is back home so soon. It’s just cool to see,” Aaron Sheflin of Brockport continued.
In a conference that took place this past Thursday, doctors William Knight IV and Timothy Pritts announced that Hamlin was not yet able to speak, due to having a breathing tube, but was able to communicate through writing.
The following day, he was taken off a ventilator and able to speak. The 24-year-old is in his second season as an NFL player. Both years have been with the Bills.
On Sunday, the Bills kept the New England Patriots out of the playoffs with a 35-23 victory that included two kickoff return touchdowns by Nyheim Hines.