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Bills safety Damar Hamlin released from Cincinnati hospital, returns to Buffalo

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(CINCINNATI) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from a Cincinnati hospital, one week after he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed during a Monday Night Football game.

Hamlin, who had his heart restarted on the field, has returned to Buffalo for further treatment at another hospital, doctors said on a conference call Monday afternoon. He is now being treated at Buffalo General, according to Hamlin.

“We are thrilled and proud to share that Damar Hamlin has been released from the hospital and returned to Buffalo,” University of Cincinnati Medical Center said in a statement. “He is doing well and this is the next stage of his recovery.”

Hamlin tweeted minutes after the press conference that he was returning to Buffalo.

“Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart. Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling,” he wrote. “The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world n more.”

Hamlin collapsed suddenly after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins on Jan. 2. He was quickly surrounded by medical personnel, who performed CPR and restarted his heart before being loaded into an ambulance and taken to the nearby hospital. The game was suspended and later canceled.

He also thanked his doctors in a tweet Monday afternoon: “Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC. Happy to be back in Buffalo. The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home!”

Hamlin, 24, had his breathing tube removed early Friday morning and was up and walking around the medical unit the same day, Drs. Timothy Pritts and William Knight said at Monday’s conference

“We are mostly grateful for how well Damar has done,” Pritts said.

The doctors also said that Hamlin did not suffer any brain damage and has made good progress with his physical therapy.

Knight said some of Hamlin’s teammates accompanied him to the airport in Cincinnati.

In Buffalo, Hamlin will remain under strict care.

“He is going to be observed and monitored to ensure that there is no impact of the flight on his condition or on his lungs,” Knight said, adding that Hamlin will undergo tests to try to determine the cause of the collapse.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said at Monday’s press conference he’d gotten a chance to go see Hamlin in the hospital before coming to the team facility.

“Super excited he’s back in Buffalo. Had a chance to see him a few minutes ago,” McDermott said. “He’s doing well, a little bit tired, but good to see him for the first time in person for a little bit.”

“He seemed happy to be back in Buffalo, in a familiar place to him,” he added. “He’s taking it one step at a time.”

The NFL honored Hamlin across the league on Sunday, the first day of games since his collapse. Players around the league wore “Love for Damar” T-shirts during pregame, while the Bills wore a No. 3 patch on their jerseys.

The Bills returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in their game against the New England Patriots and went on to win 35-24 to lock up the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

Hamlin, in his second year out of the University of Pittsburgh, shared a photo with his parents from his hospital bed a half hour before game time Sunday and tweeted several times as he watched the Bills and the tributes around the league.

ABC News’ Will McDuffie and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.

 

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