“Per the physicians at UCMC, Damar [Hamlin]’s breathing tube was removed overnight,” the Buffalo Bills said in a statement at 10:10 a.m. on Jan. 6. “He continues to progress remarkably in his recovery. His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team. Damar Hamlin FaceTimed into our team meeting today to talk to players and coaches. What he said to the team: ‘Love you boys.'”
The uplifting update comes just four days after Damar collapsed on the field while his team, the Buffalo Bills, was playing the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. Damar tackled an opponent, and although he briefly stood up afterward, he wound up falling over almost immediately. CPR was performed on the football player for ten minutes before he was rushed off the field in an ambulance. It was later confirmed that he had gone into cardiac arrest and was in “critical condition” at Cincinnati hospital.
All week long, Damar has continued to make progress. Before his breathing tube was taken out, he was able to communicate with his doctors and loved ones by writing. Once he was alert enough to do so, the first thing he asked medical officials was, “Did we win?”, according to his doctor. The doctor assured Damar that HE was the winner in this situation, as he won the “game of life.”
However, the Bills and Bengals game was postponed after Damar’s horrific injury, and the NFL announced on Jan. 5 that the game would not be resumed. Had the league decided to resume the game, the NFL would have had to postpone the start of the playoffs by one week, which would affect 14 teams that had qualified. However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell assured that the cancellation of the Bills/Bengals game would have “no effect on which clubs qualify for the playoffs.”
Following his incident on the field, Damar had to be resuscitated twice — once on the field and once in the hospital — according to his uncle. Damar was then sedated and given a breathing tube, which gave him a better chance to heal. Luckily, his condition continues to be trending upward.
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