Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday, is communicating with medical staff and his family, according to doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Doctors treating Hamlin said Thursday that the football player is awake and able to write. One of the first things he asked his bedside nurse was whether they won.
“You won the game of life,” doctors said Hamlin was told.
Hamlin remained on a ventilator to help with breathing, but doctors say his condition has improved substantially over the last 24 hours on Thursday. Medical staff said he can move his hands and feet.
“This marks a good turning point," one of the doctors said. Hamlin could make a full neurological recovery.
Doctors said his "neurological condition and function is intact and said he has made a "remarkable improvement."
The doctors said the response to Hamlin's cardiac arrest couldn't have gone any better. They said doctors were already by his side when he lost a pulse on the field Monday night. They administered CPR and defibrillation on the field to get his heart started again. He was then loaded into the ambulance and taken to the hospital.
“This went as well as something like this could go," one of the doctors said.
Doctors stated that delays of minutes or even seconds could have led to a much different outcome. Hamlin's age and fitness are also contributing factors to his recovery, doctors said.
The next step in Hamlin's recovery focuses on getting him to breathe on his own.
Doctors still don't know whether Hamlin had a previous condition that could have caused the cardiac arrest or if a violent hit on the field could have contributed to the situation.
It's still too early to know whether Hamlin will play football again. Doctors said they are focusing on his breathing and getting him discharged before larger goals are considered.