Damar Hamlin changed the way many of us look at sports and life. The Buffalo Bills safety broke his silence since collapsing and going into cardiac arrest during a game earlier this month.
Hamlin, 24, posted a video on Instagram of himself, in which he expresses his gratitude for all the people who helped save his life during his frightening incident and those that have assisted him on his path to recovery.
“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.”
“I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of all the love, all the support, and everything that’s just been coming in my way,” he continued. “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 NFL player also took the time to personally identify some medical professionals by name, in both Cincinnati and Buffalo, who assisted in his recovery.
He also thanked his parents, “Who are literally my anchors and my everything, who never left my side the entire time,” and his little brother, other family members, teammates and friends.
Hamlin also called out his fans, who he says have given “110% support” to the team.
Adding, “Ever since I became a Buffalo Bill, it’s been nothing but genuine love and support. It really encouraged me, and helped me to get through the toughest moments.”
Hamlin said the support from the city of Cincinnati and the entire NFL touched him. “Just to put team allegiance aside, to root for one kid’s life and just the humanity of a player that’s wearing Buffalo blue, to put humanity above team loyalty, you showed the world unity over division.”
Hamlin collapsed during a Monday night football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. He received CPR on the field before being taken away in an ambulance.
Family, friends, and fans around the continued to show their love and support for Hamlin with jerseys, shirts, murals, and by donating to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation community toy drive, which now has raised more than $7 million.