Damar Hamlin Gives Update On Recovery, NFL Future
By Jason Hall
February 13, 2023
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said he's "doing great" in his recovery from cardiac arrest and is planning to eventually make an NFL comeback during an exclusive interview with Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan for Good Morning America that aired Monday (February 13) morning.
“Every morning, every night I take 10 deep breathes to myself and it puts everything in perspective for me. I’m doing great,” Hamlin said. “I’m still working through things, I’m still trying to process all the emotions and the trauma that comes from dealing with a situation like that and not really having people around – no one in my immediate circle who has dealt with something like that.”
Hamlin also confirmed that he plans to resume his NFL career, but is uncertain when that will be.
"Eventually, that's always the goal, but I'm allowing that to be in God's hands," Hamlin said, adding that doctors, "can't really tell me because it's up to me."
“It’s a long road and they just are worried about trying to get me back to normal as much as they can," Hamlin added.
Last Wednesday (February 8), NFL Players Association Medical Director Thom Mayer personally guaranteed that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin "will play professional football again."
"I don’t want to get into HIPAA issues, but I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again,” Mayer said via ProFootballTalk.
Mayer's comment came shortly after Hamlin won the 2023 Alan Page Community Award and a month after he suffered cardiac arrest during a since-cancelled Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2.
"You’ve inspired so many @HamlinIsland—this ones for you. The 2023 Alan Page Community Award Winner," the NFLPA tweeted, along with several photos of Hamlin receiving the award.
Hamlin was also honored on stage during the live broadcast broadcast of the 12th annual NFL Honors last Thursday (February 9) alongside Bills and Cincinnati Bengals medical staffers, as well as University of Cincinnati Medical Center medical workers, who treated him after he suffered cardiac arrest during a since-cancelled Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2.
The 24-year-old tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of the January 2 game and got back to his feet before suddenly falling to the ground. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.
Hamlin was hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and initially reported to be in critical condition before making a miraculous recovery, which coincided with an outpouring of support from players, coaches and fans. A GoFundMe page initially launched by Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation to support a toy drive prior to his medical situation -- and later to support his recovery after far exceeding its $2,500 goal -- raised more than $9 million.
The Pittsburgh native was released from UC Medical Center one week after suffering cardiac arrest and discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute after completing a series of tests and evaluations two days later.
Hamlin was in attendance for the Bills' Divisional Round Playoff loss to the Bengals last month and reported to be with the team "almost daily" amid his ongoing recovery, according to head coach Sean McDermott.