Damar Hamlin is speaking out publicly for the first time since collapsing on the field during the Jan. 2 game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bills safety collapsed following a hit during the game. Medical officials administered CPR on the field before he was taken away in an ambulance and hospitalized in critical condition. It was later revealed that he had gone into cardiac arrest.
Hamlin took to his Instagram on Saturday to share a more than five-minute video, thanking all the people who have supported him since his collapse. “As I continue to make so much progress recovering, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” he began. “I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time, as it was just a lot to process within my own self. Mentally, physically, even spiritually.”
He continued, “I can’t tell you how appreciative I am with all the love, all the support, and everything that’s just been coming my way. What happened to me on Monday Night Football I feel is a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love directly.”
The 24-year-old player went on to thank several medical professionals, who contributed to his recovery, as well as his parents “who are literally my anchors,” his little brother, other family members, his fellow Bills team members and the fans who stood by him.
“Ever since I became a Buffalo Bill, it’s been nothing but genuine love and support not even only for me, but everyone’s situation no matter what it was,” Hamlin said, later adding, “My mind is literally blown away from all the support. I don’t even have the words to express the gratitude for the amount of support.”
The safety was released from the hospital a week after his collapse and returned to Buffalo to continue his recovery.