Damar Hamlin is giving out thanks.
In the first time Hamlin has spoken publicly since he went into cardiac arrest against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2, the Buffalo Bills safety thanked the people who supported him on Saturday in a heartwarming video posted by Buffalo’s Twitter account.
“I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time as there was a lot to process within my own self,” the 24-year-old said at the start of the video. “I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of all the love and support and everything that’s just been coming in 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 from my heart with the entire world.”
Hamlin may have a long recovery back to the field, but he thanked a number of people, including the Bills training staff and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff – both of whom helped Hamlin stayed alive.
Bills trainers resuscitated Hamlin after he collapsed. The safety later stayed at the Cincinnati hospital afterward, where he was taken off a breathing tube within just a few days.
After his collapse, Hamlin became an icon and instantly united the NFL community – with the safety’s recovery inspiring his team in their playoff push. Hamlin said in the video he was, especially, grateful for his teammates’ support during his recovery.
“To the entire Bills organization, my brothers who made it a priority to lift me up spiritually, mentally and in every way possible. … I’m proud to be a part of this team. I’m proud to be able to call you guys my brothers,” Hamlin said.
The Bills later lost to the Bengals in the divisional round last week, but Hamlin watched from a suite – despite rumors sparking up there was a double in his place.
Hamlin also talked about the immense support he got for his charity, Chasing Millions, and how he’s grateful for being able to help kids’ futures.
“While I’m so thankful for everybody, I know that it isn’t enough just to be thankful,” Hamlin said. “This is just the beginning of the impact I wanted to have on the world… I couldn’t do this without any of the support and the love and I can’t wait to continue to take y’all on this journey with me.”
A grinning Hamlin then put up his hands to form a heart – his signature sign.
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