BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As of Friday morning, Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed and he continues to “progress remarkably” in his recovery, according to the Buffalo Bills.
As of Saturday afternoon, the Bills said Hamlin has continued to make progress in his recovery but remains in critical condition. He has continued to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent, according to the Bills.
According to the Bills, his breathing tube was removed and his neurological function remains intact. They say he has been able to talk to his family members and care team.
On Saturday, Hamlin posted his first messages on social media since the injury. He posted on Instagram saying; “When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3 [times] as much. The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We [brought] the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”
Hamlin also posted a tweet with a similar sentiment.
The Bills said that Hamlin FaceTimed into Friday’s team meeting to talk to players and coaches. According to the Bills, he said “love you boys.” Coach Sean McDermott said that Hamlin’s call was a surprise to the players.
McDermott said that Hamlin flexed his muscles while on the call, saying that “he’s got some staple things” that the team knows him for.
As of Thursday morning, Kaiir Elam said that Hamlin, 24, was awake after going into cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hamlin was put in a medically induced coma at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and listed in critical condition as of Thursday. Dr. Timothy Pritts of the UC Medical Center said Hamlin continues to be be cared for in the ICU, while speaking with the press Thursday afternoon.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he knew Hamlin would be ok when medical professionals put him in a prone position — in which a person lays flat with their chest down and back up.
“The doctors said if he handles it ok it’s good, but some people don’t and need to be turned back,” said Beane. “But doctors said he was doing well with it and it felt like things were trending up.”
Following Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, the Bills-Bengals game was suspended and eventually called off for the remainder of the evening.
The NFL announced Thursday that the game would not be resumed and had been canceled. The NLF is considering a neutral site for the AFC championship game.
With the Bills’ upcoming game against the New England Patriots, Beane said they are still working on how they want to honor those who saved Hamlin’s life.
“It’s going to be a celebration of life, of ongoing life,” Beane said. “Not just in Buffalo, but nationally and internationally.”
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Hamlin plans to watch Sunday’s Bills game against the Patriots from UC Medical Center.
Following his collapse, a flood of donations were made to Hamlin’s fundraiser tied to The Chasing M’s Foundation, reaching over $7 million as of Friday.
On Friday, The NFL Players Association named Hamlin the Week 18 Community MVP.
Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.