NFL and Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin is still facing a lengthy rehabilitation three weeks on from his cardiac arrest in Cincinnati, his family spokesman has confirmed.
Hamlin had to be resuscitated on the field during the Bills’ game against the Bengals on January 2 when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle.
The 24-year-old spent more than a week in the hospital before being able to return home after making encouraging progress.
Since being released, Bills coach Sean McDermott claims Hamlin has visited the Bills’ training facility almost on a daily basis, but the player’s marketing representative has warned that his rehabilitation process will be a long journey.
‘Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects,’ Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s longtime friend and business partner, told The Associated Press on Thursday night. ‘Though he is able to visit the team´s facility, Damar is not in position to travel often, and requires additional rest to help his body heal.’
Rooney provided the update to emphasize Hamlin still faces hurdles since being discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center on Jan. 11. Hamlin’s release came five days after his doctors said the player was breathing on his own, walking, talking and showing no signs of neurological damage.
Rooney’s update also gave perspective to comments made by McDermott, who on Wednesday revealed Hamlin’s regular visits to the team’s facility. McDermott, however, stressed he was taking ‘a baby step at a time,’ while adding, Hamlin is ‘dipping his toe back in here and getting on the road to just getting back to himself.’
Rooney said Hamlin is being watched over by his parents and ‘remains very upbeat and grateful for the support he´s received from his teammates and coaches, Bills Mafia and people from around the world.’ That outpouring of support has led to Hamlin’s charitable foundation, Chasing M’s, raising nearly $9 million in donations.
Without saying from where, he added, Hamlin will be cheering for the Bills on Sunday, when Buffalo hosts Cincinnati in an AFC divisional playoff.