Damar Hamlin visited with teammates at the Bills facility Saturday for the first time since being released from a Buffalo hospital, and about two weeks after the safety went into cardiac arrest and had to being resuscitated on the field during a game in Cincinnati.
Bills linebacker Matt Milano posted a photo on his Instagram account of a smiling Hamlin shaking hands with a teammate.
A person with direct knowledge of Hamlin’s schedule confirmed to The Associated Press the player’s visit. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Hamlin has kept his schedule and recovery private.
Hamlin was cleared to return home Wednesday after undergoing final tests at Buffalo General Medical Center. His trip to reunite with his teammates comes a day before the Bills (13-3) host the division rival Miami Dolphins (9-8) in a wild-card playoff game, raising the possibility that he could be healthy enough to attend the game.
Hamlin, 24, continues what doctors have called a “remarkable recovery” since his heart stopped after being hit directly in the chest by Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of a canceled game ·late since at Cincinnati in January. 2.
Hamlin spent his first two days at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center under sedation and breathing through a ventilator. Upon awakening, Hamlin showed no signs of neurological damage and within four days of his arrival he was breathing, walking and talking on his own.
He first interacted with his teammates on Jan. 6, when Hamlin 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 live-tweeted while watching the Bills’ 35-23 season-closing win over New England on Sunday, and was released from a Cincinnati hospital a day later and flown to Buffalo. He is now continuing his rehabilitation with the Bills.
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As Hamlin’s recovery progressed, the Bills and NFL messaging switched from “Prayers for Damar 3” to “Love for Damar 3” last weekend, when the entire league honored Hamlin, who wears the number 3.
Hamlin’s recovery has taken off the Bills, who were stunned and teary-eyed as medical personnel resuscitated their teammate.
The Bills were tight-lipped on Wednesday about when they would have a chance to meet with Hamlin in person, saying it depended on the player getting his strength back.
“Just making sure he’s taking it slow 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 boys are ready to see him.”
In the days following his collapse, $8.6 million in GoFundMe donations poured into Hamlin’s toy drive fundraiser, which will be used to support youth through the education and sport.
Hamlin, who is from the Pittsburgh exurb of McKee’s Rock, will also use proceeds from the sale of new T-shirts emblazoned with “Did We Win?” along with his heart-shaped hands, to raise money for the Cincinnati trauma center that initially treated him.
Associated Press report.
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