ORCHARD PARK, NY — Damar Hamlin visited his teammates at Bills facilities for the first time since being released from a Buffalo hospital on Saturday, about two weeks after the safety suffered a cardiac arrest and that he was revived on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bills linebacker Matt Milano posted a photo to his Instagram of a smiling Hamlin shaking hands with a teammate.
Hamlin was allowed to return home on Wednesday, after undergoing his final tests at the Buffalo General Medical Center. His visit to meet his teammates comes a day before the Bills host the Miami Dolphins for a first-round NFL playoff matchup. He could attend this game.
The 24-year-old Hamlin is continuing what doctors have called a “remarkable recovery” since his heart stopped after being punched in the chest by Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of a game that since been cancelled.
Hamlin spent his first two days at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center sedated and breathing through an artificial respirator. After being awakened, Hamlin showed no signs of neurological damage and within four days of his arrival he was breathing on his own, walking and talking.
Hamlin first interacted with his teammates on January 6, when he appeared via video conference from his hospital room. He exchanged hand messages, flexed his muscles and spoke to them, saying, “I love you guys.”
Hamlin tweeted live watching the Bills’ 35-23 win over the New England Patriots in Sunday’s season finale. A day later he was discharged from Cincinnati Hospital and transferred to Buffalo. He is now continuing his rehab with the Bills.
Hamlin’s recovery lifted the spirits of the Bills, who were stunned and with tears in their eyes as they watched medical staff revive their teammate.
On Wednesday, the Bills were cautious about when they would get the chance to meet Hamlin in person, saying it depended on his medical condition.
“I just make sure he’s not going too fast and obviously trying to get back to being himself,” quarterback Josh Allen said. So we’ll take all the time we need. But I hope he knows the guys are ready to see him. »
In the days following its collapse, $8.6 million in GoFundMe donations went to Hamlin’s fundraiser and toys, which will be used to support young people through education and sports .
Hamlin, who is originally from suburban Pittsburgh, will also use the sale of his jerseys to raise money for the Cincinnati Trauma Center, which initially treated him.