“Did we win?”
It was the first question Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin asked . Upon regaining consciousness after going into cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. His physicians said Thursday.
“The answer is yes,” Dr. Timothy Pritts, division chief of general surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Aold Hamlin. “You won the game of life.”
Hamlin, 24, remains in intensive care on a ventilator and is unable to speak, Pritts said, but he is communicating by writing on a clipboard.
During a news briefing Thursday, Hamlin’s doctors said his recovery includes other promising signs that his brain is functioning, such as moving his feet and squeezing the hands of his doctors and family members.
“It appears all the cylinders are firing,” Pritt
Buffalo coach Sean McDermott and quarterback Josh Allen told reporters that word of Hamlin’s improvement was a massive lift for team spirits.
“We heard that news this morning, and there’s nothing that could have been told to us to bring our day down,” Allen said.
“We’re extremely happy for him and his family. We just want to love up on him the next chance we get. I don’t know when it’s going to be. If we get to see him anytime soon, but it’s going to be awesome.”
Hamlin’s collapse, watched by millions, occurred just after he tackled a Bengals receiver. It appeared that the receiver’s shoulder struck Hamlin in the chest.
It remains unclear what exactly caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. One possibility is a phenomenon called “commotio cordis.”
“Commotio cordis is an incredibly rare event,” Dr. William Knight, professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, said Thursday. “It’s a diagnosis of exclusion,” meaning other conditions have to be ruled out before it can be determined definitively. Damar Hamlin
It is on the list of considerations,” Knight said.
Pritts and Knight declined to specify the type of tests Hamlin has been given.
What is commotio cordis?
Normally, the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout the body about every second. There is a rhythm to the process, keeping the blood flowing at a healthy pace. But every time the heart beats, there’s a tiny moment — less than a fifth of a second — that makes it vulnerable to a projectile force. That can lead to a chaotic and potentially fatal heart rhythm.
The next few days are critical to making sure Hamlin can breathe on his own.