Damar Hamlin has finally spoken for the first time since suffering cardiac arrest on field, thanking the doctors that helped save his life along with his teammates and supporters along the way.
The Buffalo Bills safety – who collapsed on field earlier this month – appeared to be in good spirits in the nearly six-minute long video clip, where he publicly discussed his recovery for the first time since suffering the cardiac arrest that left him in critical condition.
Damar Hamlin Speaks Out For The First Time Since In-Game Cardiac Arrest, Thanks Doctors, Teammates
“I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for all the love, all the support,” Hamlin said in the video posted to Instagram on Saturday.
The Bills official Twitter account similarly posted the heartwarming video, captioning it “a special message from our guy,” along with the hashtags #LoveForDamar and #ForDamar.
Hamlin began his first public appearance since the health scare by saying it was important for him to “wait and speak publicly at the right time.”
“It’s just been a lot to process,” Hamlin said.
On January 2, the 24-year-old had taken a hit against the Cincinnati Bengals that resulted in cardiac arrest, The Shade Room reported at the time.
His heartbeat was eventually stabilized by paramedics on-field, before being rushed to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He remained hospitalized there for nine days, before doctors gave him the green light to return to Buffalo for further medical treatment.
Hamlin Says Health Scare “Is A Direct Example of God Using Me As A Vessel” In Newly-Released Video
Hamlin went on to say that “what happened to me… I feel, is a direct example of God using me as a vessel.”
“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,” he said, sporting a t-shirt with the name of his charitable foundation, “Chasing Millions.”
The safety added that it’s “always been my dream,” to have a platform to “give kids and communities across the world who need it the most.”
“And now I’m able to give to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most. And that’s always been my dream,” he added. “That’s always been what I stood for and what I will continue to stand for.”
Hamlin’s “Chasing M’s Foundation” Sees Over $9 Million In Donations Following Cardiac Arrest
As a result of the publicity, Hamlin turned a negative into a positive after creating a fundraiser “Chasing M’s Foundation,” which saw over $9 million in donations from upwards of 250,000 donors.
“Damar created The Chasing M’s Foundation to use as a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community,” the GoFundMe page reads. “The foundation supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more. We’re hopeful about Damar’s future involvement in disbursing the incredibly generous contributions.”
Hamlin went on to say tThank you to anyone who donated — in any type of way — to the Chasing M’s Foundation,” Hamlin said in the video.
“I don’t even have the words to express the gratitude,” Hamlin said.
Meanwhile, Hamlin declined to provide any specific details regarding his health in the video, but did note that “this is just the beginning of the impact I wanted to have on the world.”
“And with God’s guidance, I can do wonderful and great things,” he added.
Those who wish to donate can do so at this GoFundMe link here.