Damar Hamlin makes first video comments after cardiac arrest: ‘A direct example of how God used me’

In his first on-camera comments since suffering a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football on Jan. 2, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said he wouldn’t have gotten through the “toughest moments and the toughest times” without the support of the entire ​world.

Immediately after tackling Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, Hamlin stood up but immediately collapsed. Medical staff performed CPR on him for more than nine minutes and he left the field in an ambulance after having to be defibrillated.

Hamlin was released from the hospital on Jan. 11 and says he continues to make “so much progress in his recovery.”

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Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills stands near the sidelines during an introduction before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
(Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old has been active on social media, even live-tweeting during several Bills games, but wanted to wait for the “right moment” to share a video message.

“Now that my brothers have finished a strong, winning season, while I continue to make so much progress in my recovery, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” he said in an Instagram post on Saturday. “I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time because it was just a lot to process within me mentally, physically, even spiritually, it was just a lot to process. But I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all the love, all the support, and everything that just came my way.

Buffalo Bills fans hold signs in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin before the game against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York.

Buffalo Bills fans hold signs in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin before the game against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy Ludwig/Getty Images)

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“What happened to me in Monday Night Football, I think is a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and love directly from my heart with the whole world and I can give it back to the kids and communities around the world that need it the most and that has always been my dream. I have always stood for that and I will continue to stand for that.”

He went on to thank the Bills’ medical staff and the doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who “acted deliberately and skillfully to save my life.”

He also thanked friends who checked in on him through messages and visits, and thanked football fans for their support.

The scoreboard depicts a message of support for Damar Hamlin during the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York.

The scoreboard depicts a message of support for Damar Hamlin during the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy Ludwig/Getty Images)

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“With what happened to me, I felt nothing but love and that really helped me stay motivated through the hardest times and the hardest times. I really can’t thank you enough…

“Just to put team loyalty aside, to take care of a child’s life and just the humanity of a player wearing Buffalo blue, to put humanity above team loyalty, you showed the world unity instead of division.” I am not surprised by this, but I am deeply grateful. I will be forever grateful and indebted for that…”

“I couldn’t have done this without the support and love, and I can’t wait to continue taking you on this journey with me.”

Damar Hamlin looks at the bills from his hospital bed.

Damar Hamlin looks at the bills from his hospital bed.
(Credit: @HamlinIsland / SPORTS REPORT+ /TMX)

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Hamlin appeared at the Bills’ game against the Bengals on Sunday.

He ended his video by making a heart with his hands.

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