On Saturday afternoon, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin posted on social media for the first time since he collapsed on the field while suffering from cardiac arrest during this week’s “Monday Night Football” game.
With about six minutes left in the first quarter of the game, Hamlin collapsed following a tackle on Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins after a 13-yard catch. Hamlin got up following the tackle, took a step backward and fell to the ground.
“When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much,” Hamlin wrote on Instagram. “The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out.”
“We brung the world back together behind this,” he continued. “If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”
Dr. Timothy A. Pritts and Dr. William Knight, two of the doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where Hamlin was being treated, held a press conference on Thursday to give an update on his health status.
They told reporters that Hamlin was able to move his hands and feet and could communicate through writing. They also said it was too early to tell if he would make a full recovery. While he was unable to speak due to being intubated, he asked doctors about the result of the game after waking up on Wednesday.
“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, 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.”
The doctors were unsure what caused Hamlin to go into cardiac arrest but said that answers could emerge in the future.
“The answer to that is that workup is ongoing,” 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.”
Since that press conference, Hamlin has continued to improve, though he remains in critical condition. On Friday night, he had his breathing tube removed and is able to breathe on his own. He told his teammates “love you boys,” via FaceTime after the tube was removed.