Over the weekend, Damar Hamlin expressed gratitude for all the love and support he’s received since his cardiac arrest attack that happened during a televised football game earlier this month.
The Buffalo Bills safety took it to Instagram on Saturday (Jan. 28) for his first public statement and shared a nearly six-minute heartfelt video in which he gave a personal update on his recovery. He opened the clip with a “Thank you” message written across the screen and in his remarks, the athlete made it clear that he was in no rush to make a public statement. He said that it was a “process” within himself “mentally, physically [and] even spiritually.”
“As I continue to make so much progress recovering, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” said the 24-year-old. “I think it was important for me to wait and speak… 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.”
Hamlin suffered from cardiac arrest on (Jan. 2) after making a tackle on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of “Monday Night Football” broadcasted by ESPN. The defensive back stood up after making the hit but collapsed to the turf immediately after. According to the sporting network, medical responders restored his life on the field before transporting him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He remained under their care for nine days until he was transported to a Buffalo hospital for more treatment. Hamlin described his life-threatening injury as divine intervention.
“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, and I’m able to give it back to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most, and that’s always been my dream. That’s always been what I stood for and what I will continue to stand for,” he proclaimed.
In the video, he wore a “Chasing Millions” T-shirt, which references the name of his charitable organization. Initially, The Chasing M’s Foundation had a goal of raising $2,500 via GoFundMe for a toy drive, but thanks to his supporters, the account raised over $9 million in donations. Hamlin thanked everyone for their generosity and said he has plans to give back to the youth in America.
“Thank you to anyone who donated,” he stated in the video. “I don’t even have the words to express the gratitude… I just wanted to be able to play my role, do my part in my community as I ventured off, and to chase my dreams of making the NFL, and you guys have just took that and blown it away, and I’m so excited for the things that I have planned in the future for these kids all across the country now.”
Also, he thanked his parents, 7-year-old brother, other family, friends, and teammates, the entire Bills organization, the Bengals, and the NFL as a whole for “putting team allegiance aside to root for one kid’s life.” He also acknowledged all the kids that wrote him letters while he was hospitalized.
“It just makes me want to give back, get out in the communities, touch the kids, and just be that example that they can look to, touch, feel, talk to and know that whatever they dream of, it’s real. Hamlin concluded the video by forming a heart with his hands and said, “I will continue to do wonderful and great things.”
View this post on Instagram