One week after his terrifying collapse, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday and has returned home.
Hamlin was in the hospital since he first experienced cardiac arrest on the field during the Bills’ Week 17 game against the Bengals on Jan. 2.
"We are thrilled and proud to share that Damar Hamlin has been released from the hospital and returned to Buffalo," the UC Medical Center said in a statement through the Bills. "He is doing well and this is the next stage of his recovery."
Hamlin’s case has been transferred to a hospital in Buffalo, where he will continue to recover, something that will be measured in “weeks to months.”
"That's unbelievable. I was just upstairs talking to somebody about when that would be," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said after learning Hamlin had been released, via Fox19's Joe Danneman. "Just think about it, that was not even a week ago. There's no one in this room that expected he'd be in Buffalo [after] what we saw even Tuesday morning.
"God is great, he works miracles. This is certainly a miracle, no question."
Hamlin went down in the first quarter of the Bills' game against the Bengals after a collision with Cincinnati receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin stood up after that play, but then suddenly stumbled back and collapsed. He remained on the field for a long time while athletic trainers and medical staff performed CPR. He was eventually transported to the hospital, and the game was canceled.
By Wednesday, Hamlin started showing "signs of improvement." He started waking up on Thursday, and doctors removed his breathing tube that night, which was another massive step in his "remarkable" recovery.
UC Health doctors said Monday that Hamlin has been up walking in the hospital in recent days, tolerating a regular diet and has been meeting with family members and his care team, per ESPN's Coley Harvey.
The league honored Hamlin to close out the regular season this past weekend. Players and coaches all wore special warm-up shirts with Hamlin's number on them, and the "3" on the 30-yard-line of each field was outlined in Bills colors for Week 18. A GoFundMe that Hamlin launched in 2020 through his foundation, which had an initial goal of $2,500, quickly surpassed $8 million in donations.
Hamlin was tuned into the Bills' win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, and apparently set off every alarm in the ICU out of excitement when the opening kick was returned for a touchdown.
"We've learned this week that the Bills Mafia is a very real thing, and we all feel the love from you all in Western New York," Dr. Timothy Pritts said Monday. "He watched the game yesterday. When the opening kickoff was run back, he jumped up and down, got out of his chair, set I think every alarm off in the ICU in the process. He was fine, it was just an appropriate reaction to a very exciting play."
While he certainly has a long way to go in his recovery, Hamlin can at least do so from much closer to home.