NFL player thanks fans while recovering from cardiac arrest collapse
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has thanked fans for their support after tweeting for the first time since he suffered cardiac arrest on the field during a primetime NFL game last week.
Hamlin, 24, collapsed moments after tackling Cincinnati Bengals player Tee Higgins during a nationally televised game in the United States, requiring CPR to restart his heart on the field before being transported to a nearby medical facility where his condition was listed as critical.
The incident prompted the cancellation of the game after players from both teams appeared to be severely impacted by the incident, with tributes and well-wishes extended to the Bills organization from all across the globe.
Hamlin awoke in the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he spoke to his teammates via FaceTime, with an earlier statement from the Bills confirming that the player “remains in critical condition” but that “he continues to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent.”
Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much… thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed. This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me! 🏾3️⃣— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 7, 2023
In his first comments since the near-death incident, Hamlin said the support he has received from the wider NFL community will aid him in his road to recovery.
“Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed. This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me!”
Hamlin’s statement was issued before Saturday’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs where there was an extended applause on Hamlin’s behalf from both sets of teams and supporters.
Both teams wore uniforms which bore a ‘Love for Damar’ message.
The NFL has also announced that Sunday’s slate of games will feature tributes to Hamlin, with his number three jersey to be painted at each team’s 30-yard line.
Damar Hamlin FaceTimed into our team meeting today to talk to players and coaches.What he said to the team: “Love you boys.” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8dorrWNaxt— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 6, 2023
Per the physicians at UC Medical Center, Damar is making continued progress in his recovery yet remains in critical condition.He continues to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent.— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 7, 2023
Meanwhile, an NFL insider revealed that he has spoken to the Hamlin family and said that they are overjoyed at the nature of his recovery.
“They are absolutely elated this morning, emotional that he’s had that breathing tube out, that he's had conversations with what they’ve described as his brothers,” said Cameron Wolfe of the NFL Network.
“They said: ‘Look, we cannot describe the emotion as anything other than elated.’”
It was also noted by doctors treating Hamlin that he has undergone “substantial improvement”.
“We would like to share that there has been substantial improvement in his condition over the past 24 hours,” Dr Tim Pritts said.
“We had significant concern about him after the injury and after the event on the field and he is making substantial progress. As of this morning, he is beginning to awaken and it appears that his neurological conditional and function is intact.”