‘This is the beginning of the next stage of his recovery’

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s recovery will continue in Western New York.

Hamlin, who has received an outpouring of support from across the nation since he collapsed in cardiac arrest early in a game Jan. 2, was released Monday morning from intensive care at University of Cincinnati Medical Center and was flown back to Buffalo, where he was transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute to continue his treatment.

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“He is currently listed in stable condition and continues to make significant progress in his recovery,” Kaleida Health said in a statement Monday afternoon. “The goal of the transfer to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute is to get him closer to home for further evaluation, recovery and eventually discharge and rehabilitation.”

Kaleida said Hamlin’s care team is being led by Dr. Jamie Nadler, a critical care physician and the system’s chief quality officer, and Dr. Ken Snyder, Kaleida’s chief physician quality officer and an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant for the National Football League Players Association and the NFL. 

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The news Monday provided exactly what fans across the country were hoping to hear. It allowed the nation to collectively take a sigh of relief after the horrifying – and nationally televised – scene that played out about one week ago when Hamlin, 24, fell into cardiac arrest following what appeared to be an ordinary tackle late in the first quarter of the “Monday Night Football” game at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Hamlin, who has been tweeting a lot in recent days, sent out a message on Twitter at 3:30 p.m. Monday: “Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC. Happy to be back in Buffalo. The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home!”

Dr. Timothy Pritts, chief of general surgery and vice chair for clinical operations at UC Health, said Hamlin on Monday morning was able to meet the criteria necessary to upgrade his condition from critical to “fair or good,” which allowed for the transfer to Buffalo.

“Dr. Pritts and I have spoken extensively with his care team in Buffalo, and I can confirm that he is doing well, and this is the beginning of the next stage of his recovery,” said Dr. William Knight IV, a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and director of the hospital’s emergency medicine program.

The two doctors held a virtual news briefing at 3 p.m. Monday – no doubt an ode to Hamlin’s jersey number – that…

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