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Doctors say Damar Hamlin has made 'substantial improvement' over past 24 hours

On Thursday morning, Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam tweeted that Damar Hamlin is 'awake and showing more signs of improvement.'
Credit: AP
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin (3) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Doctors at UC Health in Cincinnati says Buffalo Bills' safety Damar Hamlin has made 'substantial improvement' over past 24 hours.

Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest after a tackle in the game against the Bengals. He was resuscitated on the field as teammates surrounded him, shielding him from public view.  

The doctors spoke during a press conference Thursday to update the media on Hamlin's condition. 

"We had significant concern about him after the injury and after the event happened on the field, but he is making substantial progress," said Dr. Timothy Pritts, MD, professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Division Chief of General Surgery and Vice Chair for Clinical Operations at UC Health.

While Hamlin is improving, doctors say he continues to be critically ill and is still in their surgical and trauma ICU. They say he still has progress to make. 

Dr. Pritts and Dr. William Knight IV, MD, who also treated Hamlin, credit the Bills' medical staff for quickly recognizing that Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and that he was properly resuscitated on the field. 

They said Hamlin appears to be neurologically intact and that he is following commands, moving his hands and feet. They say that even though he still can't speak, he was able to ask who won the game in writing. 

On Thursday morning, the Bills posted on social media that Damar Hamlin is doing better.

In a tweet, the Bills said "Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours." They reported that he is still critically ill, but he has "demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact."

His lungs are continuing to heal and he is reported to be making "steady progress."

"We are grateful for the love and support we have received," the Bills said in the statement.

The Bills will hold a press conference on Thursday for the first time since Monday night's game. Head coach Sean McDermott is scheduled to speak at 4:30 p.m.

Moments before the Bills posted an official update, Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam tweeted that Damar Hamlin is "awake and showing more signs of improvement."

Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m. during Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He had just completed a tackle of Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.

Around 2 a.m. on Tuesday the Bills released a statement saying Hamlin had suffered a cardiac arrest.

CPR was administered to Hamlin while he was surrounded by teammates, many of them breaking out into prayer.

Hamlin was on the field for 16 minutes, during which time his heartbeat was restored. The ambulance departed five minutes later. He was taken to UC Medical Center for treatment.

Bills' offensive tackle Dion Dawkins credits Bills' trainer for performing CPR and reviving Hamlin.  He also thanked the doctors and medical professionals for their help. 

Since Hamlin's collapse, Bills' Mafia, NFL fans and players have rallied behind Hamlin's charity, the Chasing M's Foundation.

On Thursday morning, the total passed $7 million. Some NFL teams and players made significant donations to the fundraising drive that Hamlin set up in December 2020 with hopes of having his foundation provide toys for needy children.

Fans have been pouring in donations to the Chasing M's Foundation Community Toy Drive GoFundMe page. 

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