The feelgood story of the 2022-2023 NFL season continued this week after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin miraculously has been released from a Cincinnati hospital and has flown back to Buffalo. Hamlin suffered a cardiac event in Cincinnati a week ago during the week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. After being down on the field for what seemed like an eternity, Hamlin was transported to University of Cincinnati hospital clinging to life. Little is still known about what caused the cardiac arrest, but the second year Hamlin appears to have made his way out of the woods on the road to a full recovery.
Dr. William A. Knight told reporters that he accompanied Hamlin to the airport on Monday morning, adding that the second-year safety was “doing well” and is in the “beginning of the next stage of his recovery” with the team at Buffalo General Medical Center.
“We shared last time that we were with you that our ultimate goal was to get Damar back home to his amazing family and broader Buffalo family. Well, Dr. [Timothy] Pritts and I are thrilled and proud on behalf of UC to report to you that Damar Hamlin has been released and returned back to Buffalo,” Dr. Knight said.
Damar Hamlin has been discharged from the hospital and is returning home to Buffalo, physicians at the UC Health Center announced ❤️ 💙 pic.twitter.com/FUpJNjOc78
— ESPN (@espn) January 9, 2023
The story of Damar Hamlin has rallied the nation, at least for a brief time, together in support and well wishes. Hamlin’s foundation that provides toys for underprivileged kids exploded in the hours and days after the heavily viewed incident. It has been some time in Joe Biden’s America since most people agreed on anything, but after watching Hamlin collapse on the field and cling to life, the NFL community and nation at large rallied in thoughts and prayer behind the young player. Now, Hamlin is one step closer to returning home to his family, and even perhaps restarting his football career next year.
“He landed safely and is as standard as anybody who has gone through what he’s gone through this last 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.”
Hamlin has not returned home yet, but is in the care of another hospital in Buffalo. Dr. Knight noted that since last week, Hamlin has met “key milestones” in his recovery journey which included being taken off a ventilator.
“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 where he could be safely returned to Buffalo.
Many watching, myself included feared and expected the worse during the live broadcast. There was much speculation and rumor on social media that Hamlin had indeed passed away on the field, but obviously that has turned out to not be the case.
“We’re thrilled to where he is today. He’s up. He’s walking around. He’s got an amazing, genuine sense of humor. And his family is amazing, and we’re happy he’s with them but in terms of any kind of conjecture to his future, that’s still significantly in the future, and it’s going to be up to Damar and a great team of physicians to help him.”
There is still a long road ahead, including figuring out exactly why a healthy 24-year-old man suddenly went into cardiac arrest, but for the time being the focus is on transitioning Hamlin back home with his family. Until then we can only speculate on cause.
Featured image screengrab from embedded Tweet
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