After experiencing a horrific heart collapse on the field during a Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has made his first public remark. Following the incident on January 2, Hamlin has been receiving medical care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
According to the team, Hamlin has shown "remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours" and is "neurologically intact." He has been able to communicate with his family and care team, and on Friday, he even talked to his teammates via FaceTime.
Prior to this, he had been communicating with a writing board. The incident occurred when Hamlin collided with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin initially got back up on his feet, but after taking a few steps, he collapsed backward onto the turf.
A referee immediately whistled for the clock to stop, and medical staff rushed to the motionless player to administer CPR. Hamlin was transported to the hospital in an ambulance around 16 minutes later. The game was delayed for a long time and ultimately canceled by the NFL on Thursday.
In the aftermath of the incident, prayers for Hamlin flooded social media, and donations to his holiday fundraiser, a toy drive promoted by his Chasing M's Foundation, exceeded $3.4 million from over 134,000 contributors.
Since the incident, the foundation has received more than $8 million in donations. On Saturday, Hamlin took to Instagram to thank everyone for their support and prayers. "When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much," he wrote.
"The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We brung the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!