It feels like Damar Hamlin is the walking embodiment of a miracle. But the Bills safety still faces some significant rehabilitation to get back to his former self.
Jordon Rooney, a family friend and business representative, briefed the Associated Press on Hamlin’s current condition.
“Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects,” Rooney told AP. “Though he is able to visit the team’s facility, Damar is not in position to travel often, and requires additional rest to help his body heal.”
It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to attend, in person, the Bills home playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s probably the most anticipated matchup of the NFL Divisional playoff weekend. The two teams last faced each other, Jan. 2. Damar Hamlin collapsed in the first quarter. He’d just tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, who lowered his shoulder into Hamlin’s chest to get some extra yards. It was a standard football play. Hamlin jumped up, then seconds later, fell back to the ground. He went into cardiac arrest and an assistant athletic trainer did CPR and used a defibrillator to shock his heart back into rhythm.
Doctors Placed Damar Hamlin on Life Support When He Got to Hospital
Doctors immediately placed Hamlin on a respirator that night. He regained consciousness within two days. And by that Friday, he was off of life support. Three days later, Hamlin flew back to Buffalo, where he was admitted to a local hospital. Then he was released. Rooney said Hamlin’s parents and brother came in from Pittsburgh and are staying with him.
Rooney said his friend and client “remains very upbeat and grateful for the support he’s received from his Bills teammates, coaches and staff. Plus, Hamlin is appreciative of the passionate Buffalo fans, who call themselves the Bills Mafia. They conducted prayer vigils when his situation was so dire, then cheered on his every move. Plus, thousands of people donated to Hamlin’s charity, with a toy-drive gofundme swelling from $2,500 to almost $9 million.
Damar Hamlin stays active on social media. Here’s the tweet he posted before the Bills’ playoff victory over Miami,
Tee Higgins Said He’d Love to See Hamlin in Person at Sunday’s Game
Meanwhile, Higgins also will forever be tied to Damar Hamlin. The safety’s parents made sure the young receiver didn’t feel guilty about the play. Higgins will be a key player in the game against the Bills.
Higgins told reporters in Cincinnati, Thursday, that he’d love to meet Hamlin and shake his hand in person at Sunday’s game.
“Just be happy to see him,” Higgins said. “I haven’t really spoken to him. Just letting his family do what he needs to do with all his loved ones.”
Buffalo coach Sean McDermott said Hamlin is coming to the Bills complex just about every day. He said that the safety is doing some rehab work and may soon be well enough to start attending team meetings.
McDermott said that as his team prepares for the Bengals, it’s a good thing players are seeing Damar Hamlin in person.
“I mean that experience, we’ll carry that with us and there’s a challenge to that. But there’s also a lot of good that came from that. And I think right now we need to focus on the positives and the positives that came out of that, as opposed to the other piece of it right now.”