Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube removed and he’s able to talk, telling teammates “Love you boys,” Buffalo Bills say

Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube removed and he’s able to talk, telling teammates “Love you boys,” Buffalo Bills say

Damar Hamlin making ‘substantial progress’

Damar Hamlin awake in hospital and making “substantial progress” 02:59

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is breathing on his own and able to talk after having his breathing tube removed, his agent and team said Friday — the latest step in his remarkable recovery in the four days since his arrest cardiac arrest and resuscitation on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The development was first reported by The Athletic.

The Bills said Friday in a statement that Hamlin’s “neurological function remains intact and he has been able to speak with his family and care team.”

“He continues to make tremendous progress in his recovery,” the Bills said in a tweet.

In another tweet, the team said he joined the players and coaches for their daily meeting via FaceTime and said, “I love you guys.”

Damar Hamlin FaceTimed into our team meeting today to talk with the players and coaches.

What he said to the team: “I love you guys.” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8dorrWNaxt

— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 6, 2023

The 24-year-old Hamlin was still listed in critical condition Thursday in the intensive care unit of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. In addition to being able to communicate in writing, Hamlin was also able to grasp people’s hands.

“So we know it’s not just that the lights are on. We know he’s home. And it seems all cylinders are firing inside his brain, which is extremely satisfying for all of us,” said Dr. Timothy Pritts. “He still has significant progress to make, but this marks a really good turn in his ongoing care.”

Hamlin’s recovery continues to trend in a positive direction after his heart stopped while making what appeared to be a routine tackle in the first quarter of a game against the Bengals on Monday night. The second-year player spent the first two days in the hospital under sedation to allow his body to recover and on a ventilator to help with breathing.

The Bills were buoyed by encouraging medical reports after returning to practice Thursday in preparation for a home game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The sight of Hamlin’s collapse, which was broadcast to a North American television audience on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” has led to an outpouring of support from fans and players from around the league. Fans, team owners and players — including Tom Brady and Russell Wilson — have made donations to Hamlin’s Chasing M Foundation, which had raised more than $7.8 million as of Friday morning.

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