BUFFALO, NY — After more than nine days at two hospitals, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, the team announced Wednesday.
Hamlin is now back home in Buffalo with his family. He underwent a series of comprehensive medical evaluations as well as a series of cardiac, neurological and vascular tests on Tuesday.
Dr. Jamie Nadler, critical care physician and chief quality officer at Kaleida Health, which runs Buffalo General, and leader of Hamlin’s care team, said in a statement: “We performed a series of tests and Evaluations, and in consultation with team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely released to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills.”
Bills coach Sean McDermott said they would leave Hamlin to return to the team facility.
“His health is first and foremost on our minds as it relates to this situation,” McDermott said. “And then, when he feels ready, we’ll welcome him back.”
Hamlin had been in Buffalo Hospital since Monday after being discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He spent nearly a week in hospital in Cincinnati after suffering cardiac arrest during the first quarter of a “Monday Night Football” game between the Bills and the Bengals. The match was initially postponed after Hamlin collapsed on the pitch, then called off a few days later.
Hamlin, 24, was transported to Buffalo on Monday and admitted to Buffalo General but entered the hospital in stable condition. The Buffalo hospital team was tasked with “identifying all possible causes of the event, possibly treating any pathology that may be found, as well as planning for his recovery, discharge and rehabilitation,” according to a statement from Kaleida Health, which oversees the hospital.
Hamlin was joined by his parents, Mario and Nina, and his 7-year-old brother, Damir, at the hospital on Tuesday. His brother was unable to visit him in intensive care in Cincinnati due to rules aimed at preventing the spread of influenza and RSV, according to Bills general manager Brandon Beane.
In the days following his cardiac arrest, Hamlin received support from around the world with millions of dollars donated to his GoFundMe toy drive as part of his Chasing Millions foundation. Pittsburgh’s 2021 sixth-round pick has prioritized giving back to his community in McKees Rocks, Pa., and Pittsburgh, and being an example to the kids there. NFL teams have shown their support for Hamlin in a variety of ways, including blue and red stadium lights, “Love for Damar” t-shirts and times of prayer and celebration for his recovery.
Bills players returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since Hamlin’s cardiac arrest with their win over the New England Patriots, but the game was all about Hamlin, with players wearing jerseys with patches “3” on it and the Bills. Recognized medical and sports training staff before the game. Fans across the stadium supported Hamlin with signs, while players held up three fingers throughout the game.
While Hamlin heads home, the Bills practice with him in mind as they prepare to face the Miami Dolphins.
“I feel really good where [Hamlin’s health and well-being] is, however, and the fact that he’s home with his parents,” McDermott said. And for us – as Damar’s father has told us many times and Damar has also mentioned – they want us to go and do our job, and that’s what we have to do.”