Damar Hamlin's First Question: Who Won the Game?

Doctors say he asked it in writing upon waking up
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2023 2:55 PM CST
Damar Hamlin's First Question: Who Won the Game?
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin in a file photo.   (AP Photo/John McCoy, File)

When the NFL's Damar Hamlin woke Wednesday night from two days of sedation, doctors say he asked a fitting question in writing: Who won the game? Dr. William Knight IV of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine says he responded, "Damar, you've won. You've won the game of life," reports the Buffalo News. The nugget came as doctors elaborated on a previous report that Hamlin was showing "remarkable improvement" after his heart stopped during a game Monday night. The 24-year-old is still using a breathing tube and thus can't speak, so he wrote out his question to a nurse at his bedside, per USA Today.

"All the cylinders are firing in his brain," says another of his doctors, Timothy Pritts. “It’s not only that the lights are on, it’s that he’s home." Hamlin has held the hands of visitors and been "very interactive with them," adds Pritts. Still, the medical team says it's too early to talk about a long-term prognosis. “The best outcome would be back to who he was before this all happened,” says Knight. Both doctors made a point to credit the quick, high-quality care Hamlin received on the field after collapsing for making any recovery possible.

“It’s been a long and difficult road for the last three days," says Knight. "He’s been very sick, and made a very remarkable recovery and improvement.” The doctors put no timetable on his recovery or a possible discharge, noting that he is still not breathing on his own. "He still has significant progress he needs to make, but this marks a good turning point in his ongoing care,” says Pritts. President Biden was among those celebrating the positive news. (More Damar Hamlin stories.)

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