Damar Hamlin releases first video following collapse: 'I will be forever thankful'
Damar Hamlin shared a message of gratitude on social media nearly a month after he collapsed on the field.
Hamlin posted a five-minute video on Instagram, thanking countless people and communities for the love and support he’s received after suffering cardiac arrest during the Buffalo Bills' matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Jan. 2.
He began the video by saying that he waited to speak publicly until he had processed the events mentally, physically and spiritually.
“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. “And I’m able to give it back to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most, and that’s always been my dream. That’s always been what I stood for and what I will continue to stand for."
Hamlin spent the rest of the video giving thanks to several people and organizations for their role in his recovery, including the Buffalo Bills’ training, athletic and medical staff, including a shout out to Denny Kellington, the athletic trainer who provided Hamlin with life-saving care on the field.
He also shared his gratitude for the doctors, medical professionals, and first responders at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, where he received his care in the days following his collapse.
The 24-year-old went on to thank his family, including his parents and “anchors,” and his little brother, the reason why “I strive to be my best self every day.”
Hamlin also shared his gratitude toward Buffalo Bills fans and the organization as a whole.
“To Bills Mafia, I just want to thank you so much for the genuine love and support," he said. “To the entire Bills organization and my brothers who made it a priority to lift me up spiritually, mentally, and every way possible. Reaching out every day, seeing how I was doing, calling, texting…I’m proud to be a part of this team. I’m proud to be able to call you guys my brothers.”
The Bills' safety made sure to thank the city of Cincinnati, the children who sent him letters and gifts, those who donated to his organization the Chasing M’s Foundation, the Bengals, and the entire NFL for the outpouring of support amid his recovery and for “putting team allegiance aside.”
Hamlin ended his message on a sentimental note, acknowledging that it “isn’t enough just to be thankful.”
He added, “This is just the beginning of the impact that I wanted to have on the world. And with God’s guidance. I will continue to do wonderful and great things. I couldn’t do this without any of the support and the love and I can’t wait to continue to take y’all on this journey with me.”
This article was originally published on TODAY.com