Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin took to social media Saturday for the first time since his collapse to thank fans for their support.
The Instagram post comes days after the football player collapsed on the field during the Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.
“When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much,” Hamlin wrote in the caption with a photo of him wearing his No. 3 jersey. “The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We [brought] the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”
All week, the 24-year-old player has received tons of messages and support across social media from fellow players, friends and fans. On Thursday, Bills player and cornerback Kaiir Elam tweeted, writing in part, “Our boy is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement.”
The NFL safety was hospitalized and in critical condition after collapsing during the Jan. 2 game at Paycor Stadium. After receiving CPR on the field, he was taken via ambulance to the Cincinnati hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit. The team reported later that he had “suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit.”
The team and a rep for Hamlin gave an update on Thursday, saying he was awake and at present “appears to be neurologically intact.” The update came after the Bills said earlier Thursday that Hamlin had “shown remarkable improvement,” according to his healthcare team. The next morning, the team shared, per his physicians, that Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed, and was able to talk to his family and care team.
On Friday, the NFL said the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game that was initially suspended Monday night following Hamlin’s hospitalization has been completely canceled.