Damar Hamlin off breathing tube, FaceTimes Buffalo Bills

Sports

CINCINNATI (NewsNation) — Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight, and his progress continues to improve remarkably, the Buffalo Bills tweeted Friday morning.

“His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team,” the tweet said.

Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was put in a medically induced coma at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center following the incident, according to the UCMC.

The Bills announced on Twitter that Hamlin FaceTimed the team during the team meeting Friday to talk to players and coaches.

“Love you boys,” he told them.

Hamlin was still listed Thursday in critical condition in the intensive care unit of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Aside from being able to communicate by writing, Hamlin was also been able to grip people’s hands.

“So we know that it’s not only that the lights are on. We know that he’s home. And it appears that all the cylinders are firing within his brain, which is greatly gratifying for all of us,” Dr. Timothy Pritts said. “He still has significant progress he needs to make, but this marks a really good turning point 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 his first two days in the hospital under sedation to allow his body to recover, and on a ventilator to assist his breathing.

The Bills were uplifted by the encouraging medical reports as they returned to practice Thursday in preparation to play a home game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

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

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