Just nine days after going into cardiac arrest during an N.F.L. game, Damar Hamlin was released from a Buffalo hospital on Wednesday.
“We have completed a series of tests and evaluations,” said Jamie Nadler, the physician who led Hamlin’s care at Buffalo General Medical Center. “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.”
Hamlin, a 24-year-old defensive back for the Buffalo Bills, continues to make steady progress after collapsing on the field following a tackle on Jan. 2. He spent nearly a week in the intensive care unit at a Cincinnati hospital, where he began breathing on his own and walking and talking again late last week. On Monday, he was transported to the facility in Buffalo after his condition had improved and he no longer needed intensive care.
Hamlin’s return home marks the next milepost in his recovery. The Bills said Hamlin was released after he underwent a comprehensive medical evaluation on Tuesday, including cardiac, neurological and vascular testing.
The doctors who cared for Hamlin in Cincinnati said in a news conference Monday that recovery from a life-threatening event like the one Hamlin experienced usually takes weeks or months. While his progress has been a little bit ahead of the usual recovery trajectory, they said it was too early to speculate on how far Hamlin is from returning to normal life and that any discussion of whether he could play football again would be “significantly into the future.”
There has been no public announcement on the cause of Hamlin’s medical emergency. He was undergoing tests and evaluations to determine what caused the cardiac arrest and to treat any potential underlying conditions.
Bills Coach Sean McDermott said he was “grateful” Hamlin is able to be home with his parents and his younger brother. The Bills are preparing this week for a playoff game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and McDermott said they’ll wait to see if or when Hamlin is ready to visit his teammates in person.
“We’ll leave it up to him,” McDermott said. “His health is first and foremost on our mind.”