Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who collapsed on field earlier this month, thanked his fans and the medical professionals responsible for his recovery in his first public video since suffering the cardiac arrest that left him in critical condition.
“I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for all the love, all the support,” Hamlin said in the video, which he posted on Saturday.
The official Twitter account for the team posted the heartwarming video with the caption, “A special message from our guy,” and the hashtags #LoveForDamar and #ForDamar. The video was also shared on Hamlin’s Instagram.
In the nearly six-minute long video, Hamlin starts by saying that it was important for him to “wait and speak publicly at the right time,” and goes on to thank his team, his family and friends, the medical professionals who “saved [his] life,” and his fans, the “Bills Mafia,” among others.
“It’s just been a lot to process,” Hamlin said.
Following a hit in an away game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2 that resulted in cardiac arrest, Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on-field before he was transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He remained there for nine days before returning to Buffalo for further medical treatment.
“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.”
“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.”
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A GoFundMe page for the Chasing M’s Foundation by Hamlin and his team has raised over $9 million in charitable donations from nearly 250,000 donors — and “received renewed support” after Hamlin’s hospitalization, read an update on the fundraising profile.
“Damar created The Chasing M’s Foundation to use as a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community,” GoFundMe page says. “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.”
“Thank 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 declined to provide more specifics on the current state of his health in the video, instead saying, “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.