Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin took to social media on Saturday for the first time since his breakdown to thank fans for their support.
The Instagram post comes days after the footballer collapsed on the pitch during a match. Monday Night Football Game between Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.
“When you put true love out into the world, it gives you 3 times more,” Hamlin wrote in the caption accompanying the photo of him wearing the number 3 shirt. “Love was overwhelming, but I know it very well. Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and contacted me. we [brought] the world together behind this. If you know me, you know this just makes me stronger. On a long road, keep praying for me!
All week, the 24-year-old has received numerous messages and support on social media from players, friends and fans. On Thursday, Bills player and full-back Kaiir Elam tweeted, in part, “Our boy is doing better, sober and showing more signs of improvement.”
NFL safety was hospitalized and in critical condition after collapsing during a January 2 game at Paycor Stadium. After being given CPR on the field, he was taken by ambulance to Cincinnati hospital and taken to the intensive care unit. The team later reported that he had “a cardiac arrest after a blow.”
The team and a representative for Hamlin issued an update on Thursday, saying he was sober and now “apparently neurologically intact”. The update comes after the Bills said earlier Thursday that Hamlin had “shown significant improvement,” according to his healthcare team. The next morning, the team shared, according to his doctors, that Hamlin’s breathing tube had been removed and could speak to his family and care team.
On Friday, the NFL said the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game that was originally suspended Monday night after Hamlin’s hospitalization has been canceled altogether.