American football player Damar Hamlin is “doing well” and has been moved back to Buffalo, doctors have said – a week after he collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest on the field.
The NFL star, 24, was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and flown home to Buffalo, where he will continue his recovery at a different hospital.
Hamlin‘s heart had to be re-started after he suddenly fell to the ground and had a cardiac arrestduring a game last Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Medical staff rushed on to the field and gave the Buffalo Bills player CPR for about 10 minutes before he was taken from the stadium in an ambulance as stunned players and spectators – including his parents – looked on in silence.
Hamlin was then put on a ventilator during days of intensive treatment at the Ohio medical centre – and has made a fast recovery.
Dr William Knight said he was “doing well”, while another medic, Dr Timothy Pritts, said: “We continue to be ecstatic about his recovery”.
Hamlin tweeted on Monday evening: “Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart. Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling.
“The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world (and) more. Bigger than football!”
He added in a subsequent post: “Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC. Happy to be back in Buffalo.
“The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home!”
Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor found out about Hamlin’s discharge during a press conference.
Taylor was visibly moved as he said: “You know, that’s unbelievable… That was not even a week ago.
“God is great, he works miracles. This is certainly a miracle, no question.
“You can’t say it enough, the people who responded on the scene game him his best chance to do this.”
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Doctors said Hamlin has been walking since Friday, and has been eating regular food.
Normal recovery from a cardiac arrest like this can be measured from weeks to months, doctors say.
After being described as “critical” for days in hospital, Hamlin began communicating by writing, then slowly started to speak.
On Saturday, the player used social media to express his gratitude.
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In a tweet, he thanked “everyone who reached out and prayed”, saying it would make him “stronger on the road to recovery”.
Hamlin had been in touch with teammates over FaceTime while bed-bound in Cincinnati.
On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team also paid tribute to the player, who is from the area, by delivering toys, books and teaching supplies to a children’s daycare centre where the player hosts an annual toy campaign drive.
Fans, players and team owners made donations to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation, which raising more than $8.2m (£7.7m) by Saturday afternoon.