Damar Hamlin of Bills speaks publicly for the first time since his cardiac arrest and expresses his gratitude

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin spoke publicly on Saturday for the first time since suffering cardiac arrest on the field earlier this month in a video posted to social media.

In the video posted to Twitter by the Bills, Hamlin said he decided to wait and speak publicly at the right time as the situation was “much to deal with”, but thanked medical staff and fans for their support. .

“What happened to me on Monday Night Football I think was a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and love straight from my heart with the whole world and now I’m able to giving it back to children and communities around the world who need it most and that has always been my dream, what I have stood for and what I continue to stand for.”

Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation community toy drive raised more than $9 million on Saturday.

The 24-year-old then thanked medical staff at Bills by name for their immediate care, as well as first responders at the University of Cincinnati Hospital and doctors at Buffalo Medical Center.

The video interview was Hamlin’s first since collapsing after making a tackle in the first quarter of the Bills-Bengals game on January 2. Doctors and coaches gave Hamlin on-field CPR and he was rushed out of the stadium in an ambulance, leaving players, coaches, fans and TV watchers in shock and unsure if he was alive.

Medical authorities said he suffered a cardiac arrest, meaning his heart suddenly stopped beating. The match was postponed and eventually called off.

Since then, Hamlin has made remarkable progress and was discharged from a Buffalo medical center on January 11.

Hamlin was in attendance for the Bills’ Divisional Round game against the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, in which the Bills lost 27-10.

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