Damar Hamlin Speaks in First Public Address Since Near-Fatal Cardiac Arrest

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Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin emotionally thanked a host of people via his first video to the public on Saturday— four weeks after he collapsed during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2.

“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 said via an Instagram post captioned “From the Heart.” Noting that the Bills’ season has now ended, the safety said he’s ready to speak to those who supported him through a horrifying night and made him carry on.

Hamlin’s heart stopped during an NFL game after colliding with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins while making a routine tackle on Monday Night Football earlier this month. The Bills player had to be resuscitated for nearly 10 minutes before being taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center from the Paycor Stadium by ambulance.

The 24-year-old opened his extensive comments by saying he continues to make “much progress” in recovery after being released from the hospital on Jan. 11. “It was just a lot to process within my own self—mentally, physically, even spiritually. It’s just been a lot to process. But I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of all the love, all the support, and everything that’s just been coming my way,” Hamlin said, before vowing to pay it back.

“And now 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’ll continue to stand for,” he said.

A special message from our guy @HamlinIsland. ❤️💙#LoveForDamar | #ForDamar pic.twitter.com/YF28bzeLJA

— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 28, 2023

The near-six-minute video saw him move on to thank Bills’ training staff, such as assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington who administered him CPR on the field, first responders, and doctors who “acted willfully and skillfully to save [his] life,” and healthcare workers. He stayed seven days at the medical center in Cincinnati and was then transferred to Buffalo General Hospital on Jan. 9.

By Rita Li

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