In his first on-camera commentary since going into cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football on Jan. 2, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said he wouldn’t have made it through the “toughest moments and the toughest times” without the support from around the world. .
Immediately after making a tackle on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, Hamlin got up, but immediately collapsed. Medical personnel resuscitated him for more than nine minutes and he left the field in an ambulance after needing to be defibrillated.
Hamlin was released from hospital on Jan. 11 and says he’s “making so much progress in recovering.”
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The 24-year-old was active on social media and even tweeted live during several Bills games, but he wanted to wait for the “right time” to share a video message.
“Now that my brothers have finished a strong, winning season and I continue to make so much progress in recovery, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” he said in an Instagram post on Saturday. “I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time because it was just a lot to process in myself, mentally, physically, even spiritually, 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 has just come my way.
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“What happened to me on Monday Night Football I think is a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love with the whole world straight from my heart. I can give it back to children and children. ” communities around the world that need it most, and that has always been my dream. That has always been what I stood for and will continue to stand for.”
He then thanked Bills’ medical staff and the doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, who “acted deliberately and skillfully to save my life.”
He also thanked friends who checked on him via text and visits, and thanked football fans everywhere for their support.
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“When this happened to me I felt nothing short of the love, and it really helped me stay encouraged to get through the toughest moments and the hardest of times. I really can’t thank you enough…
“Just to put team loyalty aside, to support for the life of one 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 , but I am very grateful. I will forever be grateful and indebted for it…”
“I couldn’t do this without some support and love, and I can’t wait to take you all on this journey.”
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Hamlin appeared at the Bills’ game against the Bengals on Sunday.
He ended his video by making a heart with his hands.