American Football: Damar Hamlin's condition improving, suffered lung damage from cardiac arrest

Signs of progress were made in the health of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, doctors informed his family, according to family friend Jordon Rooney.

Rooney told ESPN and NFL Network that "promising readings" were shown in monitoring Hamlin overnight and early Wednesday (local time). He declined to share additional details.

"They're trying to get his lungs back to full strength," said Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin's uncle, outside of University of Cincinnati Medical Center. "He was 100 percent assisted by ventilators (Tuesday). He's improved, up to 50 percent. That's an upward trend and we're thankful for that."

Glenn cautioned that Hamlin is not yet breathing on his own and has lung damage. He said doctors shifted Hamlin to his stomach to alleviate more pressure from his lungs.

"We'll just keep going day by day until he gets better," Glenn said.

Hamlin, 24, remains sedated in ICU in critical condition, Glenn said. He offered thanks and shared gratitude from the entire family for the support they've received from all corners of the world. Glenn said he now needs Hamlin to get a chance to feel that love for himself.

"He's going to be in disbelief. He shows so much love and so much compassion. He's always coming through and trying to have a positive impact. A lot of people don't get to see how loved they are while they're alive," Glenn said. "So for him to have a situation where he could have been taken away and he has a chance to come back and see all that love that he got."

Glenn said Hamlin's heart stopped twice - once on the field after collapsing and later that night at UCMC - and he was resuscitated both times.

Hamlin collapsed in the first quarter of Tuesday's (NZ time) game at Cincinnati. The safety closed from the middle of the field to tackle Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins and went to the ground on the forceful collision. After briefly getting to his feet, Hamlin collapsed as teammates and medical personnel came to his aid.

Emergency personnel administered CPR for several minutes on the field and "they had to hit him with the defibrillator," Glenn said.

"If not for what they did, my nephew would be dead right now," Glenn said.