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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
James O’Connell

Bills safety Damar Hamlin released from Buffalo hospital, will continue rehab at home

Damar Hamlin is heading home.

Less than 10 days after the 24-year-old safety for the Buffalo Bills went into cardiac arrest on the field in Cincinnati, Hamlin has been discharged from a Buffalo-area hospital.

“Damar Hamlin has been discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, a Kaleida Health facility in Buffalo, NY,” the Bills said in a statement.

The team said Hamlin, who returned to Buffalo on Monday, underwent a “comprehensive medical evaluation as well as a series of cardiac, neurological and vascular testing on Tuesday.”

Hamlin’s care team lead also released a statement via the Bills.

“We have completed a series of tests and evaluations, and in consultation with the team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely discharged to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills,” Jamie Nadler, MD, critical care physician and Chief Quality Officer at Kaleida Health, said.

The second-year safety had to be resuscitated on the field on Jan. 2 after tackling Bengals’ wide receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of the prime-time game. Hamlin, out of Pitt, received CPR on the field for nearly nine minutes before being rushed to the hospital.

The game against the Bengals on Monday Night Football was postponed and the NFL later announced it would not resume.

Hamlin’s recovery took a big step forward on Friday when he was taken off a ventilator and was able to FaceTime with his teammates. He has been active on social media since.

“Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much… thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed,” Hamlin tweeted on Saturday. “This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me!”

The league paid tribute to Hamlin this past weekend in a variety of ways. Hamlin’s No. 3 was painted on the 30-yard line in stadiums across the league and many players wore “Love for Damar 3: T-shirts during pregame warmups. The Bills sported No. 3 patches on their jerseys in their first action since the near on-field tragedy in their win over the Patriots on Sunday. Buffalo also honored their medical team for acting swiftly to save their safety’s life.

In a storybook return to the field, Bills running back Nyheim Hines returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown in Sunday’s Week 18 matchup against New England. He later added a second kickoff return TD in the third quarter as the Bills pulled away from their AFC East rival to earn an emotionally-charged 35-23 win.

“It’s a new situation for us, we’re all thinking of Damar and his family,” Bill coach Sean McDermott said after the game. “Then we come out in the first play there, it’s kind of surreal watching Nyheim score.”

Hamlin was able to leave the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday, a week after his heart stopped on the field, and was transported to Buffalo General. However, doctors cautioned that he has a long way to go in his recovery.

“I can confirm he is doing well and this is the beginning of the next stage of his recovery,” Dr. William Knight, emergency medicine director at UCMC, said in a video news conference. “[It’s] entirely too premature [to say when or if he will play football again]...It’s that we’re really focused on his day-to-day recovery.

“The goal of the transfer to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute is to get him closer to home for further evaluation, recovery and eventually discharge and rehabilitation.”

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