CINCINNATI, OH—Three days after Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac rest on the field on Monday, January 2, the athlete has made “substantial improvement.” This occurred during the first quarter of an NFL game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

On Thursday, January 5 Hamlin’s medical team indicated he is on a ventilator, but he is able to write messages and hold hands with visiting family members.

Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on the field as staff tended to him, before he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further treatment. Millions watched Hamlin being resuscitated and given CPR during Monday Night Football. Hamlin wobbled after making a tackle against Bengals Wide Receiver Tee Higgins before collapsing on the field.

Players from both the Bengals and Bills were crying and consoling one another amidst the chaos.

The game was postponed after Hamlin was rushed to the hospital and the NFL has cancelled the game for both teams, as decisions are being determined by the NFL on how the cancellation will impact the playoffs.  Both organizations will have only played 16 games this season.

One of the Hamlin’s doctors, Timothy Pritts stated he is still considered critically ill and that significant progress is needed. The game was ruled a no-content by NFL officials.

Hamlin is able to move his hands and feet. He is unable to speak but was able to communicate in writing, Pritts said. Hamlin asked whether the Bills won Monday’s game against the Bengals.

“The answer is yes, Damar, you won. You won the game of life,” Pritts said.

Asking about the game was a sign to doctors that “not only the lights are on, but he’s home” and was a gratifying sign.

Dr. William Knight IV credited the quick medical response with saving Hamlin’s life. He said a physician was by Hamlin’s side within a minute of him collapsing and recognized that the defensive back did not have a pulse.

An outpouring of support for Hamlin’s GoFundMe page resulted in over $7 million being raised for his initiative to buy toys for kids in his hometown of McKees Rocks Pennsylvania that had an original goal of $2,500. Over 220,000 people have donated to the cause. “Again thank you for your thoughts prayers and generous support during this time,” the family issued in a statement.