Three days after suffering a shocking cardiac arrest on the field of play, Damar Hamlin is awake in hospital.
The Buffalo Bills safety suffered a cardiac arrest after attempting to make a tackle during Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, with Hamlin requiring resuscitation on the field of play.
Now, we have our first reports of Hamlin communicating with doctors and family in the University of Cincinnati Medial Center. The latest information states that Hamlin is now awake, and able to communicate with his family and with the centre's medical staff, in fantastic news.
Damar Hamlin awake and communicating with family members
24-year-old Damar Hamlin suffered a frightening cardiac arrest during Monday night's crucial NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.
The football world has been united in wishing him a speedy recovery, and he seems to be making excellent progress, judging by the most recent comments from Cincinnati.
In a press conference on Thursday, one of the doctors treating Hamlin - Dr Tim Pritts - told reporters that Hamlin was even well enough to ask in writing who had won Monday's game:
Last night he was able to emerge, follow commands and even ask who won the game. When we answered Damar when he asked who won the game we said, 'Yes, you won. You won the game of life.'
Hamlin's agent also confirmed to the press that the 24-year-old has been able to communicate with family by gripping their hands at his bedside.
The Buffalo Bills themselves gave a more detailed report on Hamlin's condition, stating that he remains in a critical condition, though his condition continues to improve. They called his recovery over the past few days "remarkable":
Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours. While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress. We are grateful for the love and support we have received.
The Bills revealed that Monday night's game - which was halted when Hamlin collapsed - will not be restarted, with a special league meeting being held to decide how best to address the no-contest.
The NFL has announced our Week 17 game will be a no contest.
A special league meeting will be held to vote on the possibility of the AFC Championship game being played at a neutral site: https://t.co/GhEv2GXCko pic.twitter.com/OYC1BP2HTK
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 6, 2023
For NFL fans around the world, however, the Bengals v the Bills now feels insignificant, and fans will simply be thrilled to hear that Damar Hamlin has taken some huge steps on the road to recovery.