ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Damar Hamlin on Saturday visited his Buffalo Bills teammates for the first time since he was released from the hospital.
Bills linebacker Matt Milano posted a picture on Instagram showing a smiling Hamlin next to a teammate.
It’s been two seeks since Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field during a game in Cincinnati.
The 24-year-old safety was released from Buffalo General Medical Center on Wednesday.
READ MORE: Damar Hamlin discharged from Buffalo hospital 9 days after suffering cardiac arrest during a game
Hamlin continues what doctors have referred to as “a remarkable recovery” since his heart stopped after being hit squarely in the chest by Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of a since-canceled game at Cincinnati on Jan. 2.
Hamlin spent his first two days at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center under sedation and breathing through a ventilator. Upon being awakened, Hamlin showed no signs of neurological damage and within four days of his arrival was breathing on his own as well as walking and talking.
He first interacted with his teammates on Jan. 6, when Hamlin appeared by videoconference from his hospital room. He exchanged hand messages, flexed his muscles and spoke to them by saying, “Love you boys.”
READ MORE: Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, still critical, continues recovery, tweets thanks
Hamlin live-tweeted while watching the Bills 35-23 season-closing win over New England on Sunday, and a day later was released from the Cincinnati hospital and transferred to Buffalo. He is now continuing his rehabilitation with the Bills.
As Hamlin’s recovery progressed, the Bills and the NFL’s messaging switched from “Prayers for Damar 3” to “Love for Damar 3” by last weekend, when the entire league honored Hamlin, who wears No. 3.
Hamlin’s recovery has uplifted the Bills, who were stunned and teary eyed upon watching medical personal revive their teammate.
The Bills on Wednesday were cautious on when they’d get a chance to meet with Hamlin in person, saying it was dependent on the player regaining his strength.
READ MORE: Damar Hamlin transferred to Buffalo hospital a week after Buffalo Bills safety suffered on-field cardiac arrest in Cincinnati
“Just making sure he’s taking it slow, and obviously trying to get back to being himself,” quarterback Josh Allen said. “So we’ll take all the time that we need. But I hope he knows the guys are ready to see him.”
In the days that followed his collapse, $8.6 million in GoFundMe donations poured into Hamlin’s toy drive fundraiser, which will be used to support young people through education and sports.
Hamlin, who is from the Pittsburgh exurb of McKee’s Rock, also will use proceeds from the sale of new T-shirts, emblazoned with “Did We Win?” along with his hands in the shape of a heart, to raise money for the trauma center in Cincinnati that initially treated him.