As remarkable as Damar Hamlin’s recovery has been, the Buffalo Bills safety still faces a lengthy rehab about three weeks after suffering cardiac arrest and having to be resuscitated on the field during a game in Cincinnati, he said its marketing representative to The Associated Press on Thursday night.
“Damar still needs oxygen and his heart is monitored regularly to make sure there are no mishaps or after effects,” Jordon Rooney said. “While he is able to visit team facilities, Damar is not in a condition to travel often and needs additional rest to help his body heal.”
Rooney provided the update to emphasize that Hamlin still faces obstacles since being released from Buffalo General Medical Center on Jan. 11. Hamlin’s release came five days after his doctors said the player was breathing on his own, walking, talking and showing no signs of neurological damage. .
Rooney’s update also gave perspective to comments made by Bills coach Sean McDermott, who said Wednesday that Hamlin had begun making regular visits to the team’s facility. McDermott, however, stressed that the 24-year-old was taking it “one step at a time”, while adding that Hamlin is “getting his toe back here and starting the road back to himself”.
Hamlin has yet to make a public appearance, except for a photo of linebacker Matt Milano he posted on his Instagram account Saturday of his teammate at the Bills facility. And she has yet to speak publicly, except for posting messages on her social media accounts.
Rooney said Hamlin is being watched by his parents and “remains very optimistic and grateful for the support he has received from his teammates and coaches, Bills Mafia and people around the world.” This outpouring of support has seen Hamlin’s charitable foundation, Chasing M’s, raise nearly $9 million in donations.
Without saying where, he added, Hamlin will cheer on the Bills on Sunday, when Buffalo hosts the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC divisional playoff game.
Hamlin live-tweeted while watching Buffalo’s 35-23 season finale win over the New England Patriots from his hospital bed at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Jan. 8. Last weekend, he live-tweeted while watching the Bills’ 34-31 win over the Miami Dolphins in a wild-card playoff game from home.
The game against Cincinnati has added significance. It is the first meeting between the two teams since their game was called off on Jan. 2, when Hamlin collapsed after being hit squarely in the chest while making what appeared to be a routine tackle by the Bengals wide receiver. , Tee Higgins.
Hamlin’s family and Bills quarterback Josh Allen have defended Higgins, saying he should not be blamed for what happened.
On Thursday, Higgins said he couldn’t be more grateful for the family’s support, while also hoping Hamlin could make it to the game so the two could meet.
“Be glad to see him,” said Higgins. “I haven’t really talked to him. Just letting his family do what they have to do with all their loved ones.”
Also Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul extended her support to Hamlin during a phone call with the player. In a message posted on his Twitter account, Hochul called Hamlin “an inspiration” and let him know “the hopes and prayers of 20 million New Yorkers have been with him during his recovery.”
Hamlin, who is from the Pittsburgh area, responded by writing that it was great meeting Hochul and he was “excited to see how our future collaborations will help and impact so many.”
Report from The Associated Press.
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