Tamar Hamlin is “starting to wake up,” a doctor at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said Thursday. Update status of NFL player After Hamlin Monday during a game.
Hamlin, still on a breathing tube, was able to communicate in writing to a nurse last night, said UC Health Dr. Timothy Pritz.
“We want to share that there has been significant progress in the last 24 hours,” he said as he sat with UC Health’s Dr. William Knight in a nearly hour-long conference call. “We have significant concerns about him after the incident on the pitch. He is making significant progress. He has started waking up since this morning.”
Hamlin’s “neurological function remains intact,” Pritz said, attributing that to the speed with which emergency responders began treating him.
“He continues to be ill and is being treated in the ICU,” Britts said. “He still needs to make significant progress. This marks a turning point in his current care.”
Hamlin, a Buffalo Bills safety, wasDuring the first quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He fell shortly after tackling Bengals wide receiver Dee Higgins. After the attack Hamlin landed back on his feet and adjusted his facemask with his right hand before falling backwards seconds later.
Emergency responders attended to him on the field before he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. A defibrillator and CPR were used minutes after he collapsed, Knight said.
The game was postponed and then suspended.
“The first question he wrote when he started to wake up was, ‘Did we win (the game)?’ “Not only did the lights come on, but we knew he was home,” Britts said, adding that Hamlin had “won the game of a lifetime.”
In a Thursday press conference, Bills quarterback Josh Allen Hamlin’s father said he had spoken with the team earlier in the day and predicted that would be his son’s reaction.
“His dad, the first thing he’s going to ask when he wakes up is ‘Who won the game?’ Of course, that’s what he did,” Allen said.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said the team has been getting periodic updates from doctors at UC Medical Center, who have been in contact with the two team trainers who stayed in Cincinnati when the team returned to Buffalo.
“The news we got today in particular was a big lift,” McDermott said.
As fans nationwide poured out their support, some wondered if Hamlin had a conditionA blow to the chest can occur when the heart rhythm is disrupted.
“That condition is an incredibly rare occurrence,” Knight said. “He has ongoing testing. It’s too early to tell.”
As for the long-term recovery, Knight said doctors are focusing on Hamlin’s day-to-day care.
“He still has a ways to go to get off the ventilator,” Knight said.