Critically injured US football player shows ‘improvement’

Damar Hamlin has received support from players and fans across the country after suffering a cardiac arrest on Monday.

A man lights a candle surrounded signs of support for Hamlin
A man lights candles at a vigil outside the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, who remains in critical condition [Darron Cummings/AP Photo]

Damar Hamlin, an American football player whose collapse during a game earlier this week sparked shock and concern, is showing “signs of improvement” in a Cincinnati, Ohio, hospital.

Hamlin’s team, the New York-based Buffalo Bills, said on Wednesday that he remained hospitalised and in critical condition. Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during a United States National Football League (NFL) game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night.

On social media, the Bills said Hamlin had shown improvement but that he is “expected to remain under intensive care as his healthcare team continues to monitor and treat him”.

Hamlin’s collapse aired live on North American television on Monday, shocking audiences across the continent. During what appeared to be a routine tackle, the 24-year-old Hamlin was struck in the chest and stood up to adjust his face mask, before falling back to the ground.

The incident led to an outpouring of support for Hamlin. The player was resuscitated on the field during the broadcast and transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remains.

Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn, told reporters on Tuesday night that the level of oxygen Hamlin needed had been reduced from 100 percent to 50 percent, which he greeted as a positive sign.

Jordon Rooney, a family spokesman who described himself as a close friend of Hamlin, said the player’s loved ones were “elated” by the outpouring of well-wishers and said, “the bounce-back from this, for him and his family, is going to be incredible”.

Vigils have been held in Cincinnati and outside the Bills’ home stadium as fans wish Hamlin a speedy recovery. Donations have also poured into the Chasing M’s Foundation, a charity Hamlin started, which had launched an effort to raise funds for children’s toys.

Donations quickly surpassed the initial $2,500 goal and had climbed to more than $6.3m on Wednesday afternoon.

Hamlin’s collapse put the match between the Bills and the Bengals indefinitely on hold, suspending progress in an ongoing tournament.

It is not clear if the game between the Bills and the Bengals will be rescheduled. The NFL issued a statement on Tuesday saying a rematch will not be played this week.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies