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WATCH: Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin able to communicate but 'many steps' to recovery, doctors say
Buffalo Bill safety Damar Hamlin has shown "remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours," doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said Thursday, three days after the 24-year-old player had to be resuscitated on the field.
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"It's been a long and difficult road for the last three days, he has been very sick and has made a fairly remarkable recovery and improvement," Director of the Emergency Medicine at UC Health Dr. William Knight IV said during a news briefing.
Division Chief of General Surgery at UC Health Dr. Timothy Pritts said Hamlin is not able to speak but is able to write messages.
"He was able to communicate in writing and he is unable to speak with us yet as he still has a breathing tube in and we are still assisting him with the ventilation," Pritts said.
But Pritts said "there are many, many steps still ahead" for Hamlin's recovery.
"From our standpoint, we would like to see him continue to improve, to be completely breathing on his own, and then to be ready to be discharged from the hospital," he said. "His family has been with him at his bedside, as well as members of Buffalo Bills Organization, really since this all began. And we really want to get him home to them."
On Tuesday, Niagara Falls was illuminated in blue in honor of Hamlin. The tribute was featured at the American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls and lasted about 15 minutes.
The developments on Hamlin's condition come as the Bills were scheduled to return to practice on Thursday for the first time since Hamlin collapsed when his heart stopped after making a tackle and was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center during the first quarter of Buffalo's game against the Bengals on Monday night.