Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin continued to make progress in his recovery on Saturday, five days after suffering cardiac arrest during an NFL game, to the point of expressing his gratitude on Instagram for the “tremendous love” that was witnessed to him.
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“When you show real love in the world, it comes back to you three times stronger,” the 24-year-old wrote on his social network.
“The love has been immense, I am grateful to each person who has prayed for me and reached out to me. If you know me, you know that only makes me stronger. The road is long, keep praying for me!” he concluded.
This message was posted a few minutes after the Bills gave their daily update on the evolution of the state of health of Hamlin, whose “neurological functions are excellent” according to his doctors, even though he “remains in a state of critical”.
In steady progress, Hamlin was deintubated overnight from Thursday to Friday, and has since been breathing on his own again. He was even able to talk to his teammates and his coach.
He had suffered a cardiac arrest Monday, following a terrible shock to the chest suffered by tackling an opponent, during the regular season game against the Bengals.
Hamlin, who had collapsed just after getting up from this action, was quickly taken care of and resuscitated on the ground, before being hospitalized at the medical center of the University of Cincinnati.
An impressive sequence which was seen by millions of viewers attending this match between two candidates for the Super Bowl, in a packed stadium suddenly silenced. Players from both teams gathered around him, many of them praying on their knees, some in tears.
The NFL, which had suspended the Bills-Bengals game indefinitely after the tragedy on the lawn, finally decided to cancel it Thursday evening, in consultation with the two teams and the players’ union (NFLPA).
On the other hand, the last day of the regular season is well maintained this weekend and the Bills, back in training, will host the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Tributes have already been paid this Saturday, on the sidelines of the meeting in Las Vegas, between the Raiders and the Chiefs.
Players and staff at the Allegiant Stadium wore t-shirts that read “Love for 3 Damar” (“Love for Damar” with his shirt number). Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes sported a hoodie with “Hamlin Strong” written on the back and an image of the player.