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Damar Hamlin is in 'good spirits' and recovering at a Buffalo hospital, team says

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from the hospital and has returned to Buffalo, doctors say. Here, Hamlin is shown prior to the start of the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Joshua Bessex
/
AP
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from the hospital and has returned to Buffalo, doctors say. Here, Hamlin is shown prior to the start of the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Updated January 10, 2023 at 5:45 PM ET

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains hospitalized following his return home to Buffalo after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing during last week's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

In a news update Tuesday, officials at the Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute said Hamlin is in "good spirits."

Hamlin had been treated for nearly a week at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after his collapse. Now, back in Buffalo, he will go through a series of testing and evaluations to identify any possible causes leading to the cardiac arrest, officials said. Doctors will also devise a plan for his recovery, discharge and rehabilitation.

In a tweet posted Tuesday, Hamlin posted his own update asking for continued prayers and support from fans.

"Not home quite just yet. Still doing and passing a bunch of tests. Special thank you to [Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute]," Hamlin tweeted. "It's been nothing but love since arrival."

During a Monday news conference, doctors said Hamlin was discharged from the hospital earlier in the day and flown to Buffalo, where he is said to be "doing well" and in "the beginning of the next stage of his recovery." He remains in stable condition

Doctors say they are still unsure what caused his collapse during the Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals a week ago.

"We continue to be ecstatic about his recovery," Dr. William Knight told reporters on Monday.

"We anticipate that he will undergo an ongoing series of tests and evaluations to determine the etiology of what caused the incident and to treat and pathology that may be found," he added.

Doctors said Hamlin has been walking since Friday, and has also been eating regular food and undergoing therapy. They said he was on what medical professionals say is a "very normal" or even "accelerated trajectory" in his recovery from cardiac arrest — which is considered a life-threatening event.

"The goal for every patient who suffered a serious illness or injury is to help them return as close to baseline as possible," Knight said.

"We anticipate that he would have likely ongoing needs — whether it is therapy or working with different specialists — to get him as close to where he really can be," he added.

Knight told reporters he traveled with Hamlin to the airport, where he boarded a flight back to Buffalo. Currently, Hamlin is in a hospital there.

In a series of tweets following the news conference, Hamlin gave an update of his own, praising his medical team in Cincinnati.

"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 that I plan to put back into the world [and] more. Bigger than football!" Hamlin tweeted.

Hamlin's heart stopped beating following what seemed like a routine tackle during the Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. First responders resuscitated him by performing CPR and using a defibrillator.

UCMC physicians praised the first responders' quick actions as life-saving.

The NFL said it will not reschedule the Bills-Bengals game, which was stopped in the first quarter after Hamlin collapsed.

In a news release Thursday, the league said that the game cancellation will have "no effect" on which clubs will qualify for the postseason.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.