In his first on-camera comments since suffering cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football on Jan. 2, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said he couldn’t make it through the “toughest moments and the toughest times” without support from around the world would have .
Right after a tackle with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, Hamlin got up but immediately collapsed. Medical personnel performed CPR on him for over nine minutes, and he left the field in an ambulance after requiring defibrillation.
Hamlin was discharged from hospital on January 11 and says he continues to make “such great strides in recovery”.
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Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills stands near the sidelines during the introduction prior to an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
The 24-year-old has been active on social media and even live-tweeted during several Bills games, but he wanted to wait for the “right time” to share a message on video.
“Now that my brothers have had a strong, winning season and I continue to make such great strides in recovery, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” he said in an Instagram post on Saturday. Post Office. “I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time because it was just a lot to process mentally, physically and even spiritually within myself, it was just a lot to process. But I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all the love, all the support, and everything that’s coming my way right now.
Buffalo Bills fans hold signs in support of Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin safety before the game against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
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“What happened to me on Monday Night Football I think is a direct example of how God is using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love with the whole world right from my heart, and I can do it with kids and children giving back to communities around the world that need it most and that has always been my dream. That’s what I’ve always stood for and what I will continue to stand for.”
He thanked the medical staff and doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who “acted deliberately and skillfully to save my life.”
He also thanked friends who came to visit him via texts and visits, and thanked football fans everywhere for their support.
The scoreboard displays a message of support for Damar Hamlin during the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
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“When this happened to me, I felt nothing short of love, and it really helped me stay encouraged to get through the toughest moments and the toughest times. I really can’t thank you enough…
“Just to set aside team loyalty, to cheer on the life of a child and just the humanity of a player wearing Buffalo Blue, to put humanity above team loyalty, you showed the world unity over division. I’m not surprised by this, but I’m deeply grateful. I will forever be grateful and indebted to him…”
“I couldn’t do this without the support and love, and I can’t wait to continue taking you all on this journey.”
Damar Hamlin watches the Bills from his hospital bed. (Source: @HamlinIsland / SPORTS REPORT+ /TMX)
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Hamlin appeared in the Bills’ matchup against the Bengals on Sunday.
He ended his video by making a heart shape with his hands.