Sports fans around the world have breathed a collective sigh of relief after NFL player Damar Hamlin woke up after showing “remarkable improvement” - and his first words were straight out of a movie script.
The Buffalo Bills star is recovering after an on-field cardiac arrest and thankfully appears to be “neurologically intact”.
He woke up on Wednesday evening (January 4) and remains “critically ill”, but he was able to communicate with medical staff in writing and asked who had won the game which he collapsed in.
In a press conference on Thursday, Dr Tim Pritts of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said: “Last night he was able to emerge, follow commands and even ask who won the game. When we answered Damar when he asked who won the game we said, ‘Yes, you won. You won the game of life.’”
A Buffalo Bills statement said: “Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours. While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress. We are grateful for the love and support we have received.”
Reports have also emerged highlighting the significance of the actions taken by Buffalo Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington.
The NFL star is awake after collapsing during Monday's gameTimothy T Ludwig/Getty Images
Senior NFL reporter Albert Breer praised his role in Monday’s emergency - calling his intervention to administer CPR “absolutely vital” and “a huge difference-maker” in the outcome.
“One hero who should be recognized here: Last night, I was told the work of Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington in administering CPR to Damar Hamlin on Monday was absolutely vital,” tweeted Breer.
“The speed and skill with which he and others reacted = A huge difference-maker.”
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