Damar Hamlin has “shown remarkable improvement” in the past 24 hours and appears to be “neurologically intact”, the Buffalo Bills have announced, citing physicians caring for the NFL star at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Hamlin’s agent, Ronald Butler, told The Associated Press that Hamlin was awake and has been able to grip the hands of family members at his hospital bedside.
While Hamlin remains “critically ill” after suffering a cardiac arrest and requiring CPR on the field following a hit against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, a statement from the team said he has “demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact”.
The statement added: “His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress. We are grateful for the love and support we have received.”
Doctors with the University of Cincinnati Medical Center also said Hamlin’s “neurological function is intact” and that it “marks a good turning point in his ongoing care.”
Hamlin’s representatives also released a statement which said he had made a “substantial improvement overnight”.
“We are so thankful for all of the first responders, doctors, and hospital staff and everyone who has played a role in this process,” it added. “Please continue to pray for Damar and we will provide updates as they are available.”
A further update from Hamlin’s team-mate Kaiir Elam said the 24-year-old safety was “awake” in hospital. “Our boy is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement,” Elam posted on Twitter. “Thank you God. Keep the prayers coming please. All love 3!”
In a media briefing on Thursday, doctors also revealed that Hamlin was able to communicate and asked who won Monday’s game. “You won the game of life,” medical professionals responded.
In a shocking incident that has sparked an outpouring of support in the United States and beyond, Hamlin was resuscitated after a collision with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins and was placed into intensive care after being transferred to hospital.
Hamlin’s GoFundMe page, set up to support a toy drive in his local community, has reached over $7m in donations while his family have thanked fans for their love and prayers.
Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn, said on Wednesday that he was “trending upwards in a positive way” and his lungs have since shown further signs of recovery. Glenn added the family were taking it “day by day” and that the focus now is to help Hamlin to recover to breathe on his own and healing his lungs.
“It’s tremendous to see all the love and support,” he added. “A lot of people don’t get to see how loved they are while they are alive. For him to have a situation where he could have been taken away and he has a chance to come back and see all that love that he has, it’s truly an amazing thing.”
The NFL said on Tuesday that there were no plans to resume the Bills’ game against the Bengals this weekend, which was postponed indefinitely following Hamlin’s collapse in the opening quarter. There have been no changes to Week 18 of the regular season.