Two of the doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center treating Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin held a press conference Thursday to give an update on Hamlin’s health after the 24-year-old athlete went into cardiac arrest during an NFL game earlier this week.
Dr. Timothy A. Pritts and Dr. William Knight told reporters that Hamlin has shown “substantial improvement” in his recovery over the last couple of days.
The doctors said that Hamlin was able to move his hands and feet and was able to communicate through writing, but they said it was too early to know if he would make a full recovery.
“When he asked did we win, the answer is, yes, you know, Damar, you won, you’ve won the game of life,” Pritts said.
“We know that he’s home and that appears that all cylinders are firing within his brain,” Pritts said. “Which is greatly gratifying for all of us, for the nurses and respiratory therapists and caregivers as for his family and for everybody else beyond.”
When the doctors were asked about what caused Hamlin to go into cardiac arrest, they said that they do not know, but that answers could emerge in the future.
“The answer to that is that workup is ongoing,” Dr. William Knight answered. “We do not have definitive answers as to the etiology of the arrest at this time and that tests will continue to be ongoing as he continues to progress.”
The Bills also released a statement Thursday on Hamlin’s health progress.
“Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the team said in the statement. “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal, and he is making steady progress.”
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 5, 2023
Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told CNN Tuesday that doctors had his nephew “flipped over on his stomach” to help with the blood on his lungs because he sustained “some damage to his lungs,” the report said.
“His heart had went out so they had to resuscitate him twice,” Glenn said. “They resuscitated him on the field before they brought him to the hospital and then they resuscitated him a second time when they got him to the hospital.”
It is not known when or if the game will be resumed. Both playoff-bound teams are scheduled to play in what otherwise would be their regular season finales on Sunday.
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.