Damar Hamlin’s doctors recall him setting ‘every alarm off in the ICU’ in response to Bills’ kickoff return TD


Jumping for joy.

That’s how doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center would describe Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin as he watched his team score a touchdown on the opening kickoff return against the New England Patriots on Sunday in their first game since Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field less than a week earlier.

Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills reacts after a missed Pittsburgh Steelers field goal at Highmark Stadium on Oct. 9, 2022, in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Dr. William A. Knight and Dr. Timothy Pritts held a press conference on Monday providing the latest – and most optimistic – update on Hamlin’s condition, revealing that he has been released from their care and transferred to the medical team at Buffalo General Medical Center.


“He was beyond excited and feels very supported by the outpouring of love from across the league and especially from the Buffalo area,” Pritts said. “We’ve learned this week that the Bills mafia is a very real thing and we all feel the love from you in Western New York.”

The scoreboard depicts a message of support for Damar Hamlin during the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills game at Highmark Stadium on Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Hamlin posted an image of himself in a hospital bed before Sunday’s kickoff but, according to his doctors, he didn’t stay there for long.

“He watched the game yesterday. When the opening kickoff was run back, he jumped up and down, got out of his chair, set I think every alarm off in the ICU in the process, but he was fine. It was just the appropriate reaction to a very exciting play,” Pritts revealed with a smile.

“He very much enjoyed it and enjoys the support from everyone.”


Knight added that Hamlin has met “key milestones” in his recovery journey, which included being taken off a ventilator on Friday morning and shortly after completing his first “lap” around the unit.

“He has been up with physical therapy and occupational therapy, walking the unit, tolerating a regular diet, meeting with his family and many members of the care team that wanted to see how he was doing – all to get him to this point where he could be safely returned to Buffalo.”

Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills after a tackle for a loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 9, 2022, in Orchard Park, New York.
(Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Hamlin will continue to undergo tests at Buffalo General but doctors at UC Medical Center say the second-year safety is “neurologically, completely intact” and showing good signs as he progresses in his recovery.


“He still has a little bit of a ways to go in terms of his ongoing recovery,” Knight said. “We’re thrilled to where he is today. He’s up. He’s walking around. He’s got an amazing, genuine sense of humor. And his family is amazing, and we’re happy he’s with them but in terms of any kind of conjecture to his future, that’s still significantly in the future, and it’s going to be up to Damar and a great team of physicians to help him.”