Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center gave an update on the condition of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Thursday, days after the 24-year-old went into cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football contest against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Although Hamlin remains in critical condition at the hospital's ICU, medical staff noted a significant improvement in his condition over the last 48 hours, culminating in Hamlin's ability to communicate in writing and demonstrate that he was "neurologically intact."
Moments after displaying signs of consciousness, doctors said Hamlin asked in writing who won Monday night's game.
"You won the game of life," doctors responded to Hamlin, noting his remarkable recovery in recent days, although his long-term prognosis remains in question.
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Damar Hamlin latest news
The Buffalo Bills safety is communicating with doctors through writing and moving his feet and hands as of Thursday afternoon
Medical staff at the University of Cincinnati praised the work of the on-field medical staff Monday night, activating an emergency action plan and providing care in the most critical moments.
One reporter asked, "Would it be fair to say that if things would have taken a few extra minutes or maybe even a few extra seconds, there could have been a different outcome here?"
"I think that's fair to say," Dr. Timothy Pitts said.
Hamlin continues to use a breathing tube as medical staff monitor the 24-year-old's improving lung function.
Doctors noted Hamlin's exceptional fitness and health prior to Monday night's cardiac arrest assisted with his recovery. Medical staff at the University of Cincinnati hope to work to get Hamlin breathing on his own and move toward the path of a discharge as his recovery maintains a day-by-day approach.
Physician Dr. William Knight IV mentioned the exceptional support that Hamlin and the UC medical staff have received across the country and worldwide in the wake of Hamlin's cardiac arrest.
"We know that he's on and that it appears that all cylinders are firing within his brain, which is greatly gratifying for all of us, for the nurses and the respiratory therapists," Knight said.
The physicians added that Hamlin's family communicated the extent of the support he has received from across the globe.
"I mean, all I have to do is look over my left shoulder and I see vigils and posters and well wishes and the food that has shown up at the hospital, for the support for the family and for the emergency department and for the surgical ICU team," Knight said.
With medical staff noting that the best case scenario would be for Hamlin to return to his state of health prior to the injury, one reporter asked if the door was potentially still open for Hamlin to return to the professional football field.
"He's still critically ill in the ICU so the focus is on getting him better and on the road to recovery. So it really is too early to have that conversation," Knight said.