Damar Hamlin's family say they are 'moved by the prayers' and 'kind words'

Damar Hamlin's family say they are 'moved by the prayers' and 'kind words'

Damar Hamlin's family thanked fans Tuesday, saying they are "moved by the prayers" and "kind words" showered on the Buffalo Bills safety after he collapsed on the field.

The family also praised health care workers who immediately tended to Hamlin, 24, as he went into cardiac arrest during the Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

"On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time," the family said in a statement, its first since Monday night's incident. "We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country."

Hamlin was listed in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

"We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and health care professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar," the statement continued.

"We feel so blessed to be part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they've done," it said, referring to Bengals coach Zac Taylor.

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The Bills said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that Hamlin remains in critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit, and they echoed the family's appreciation of the public's embrace of him.

"We are grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we have received thus far," the Bills added.

The host Bengals had the ball in the first quarter Monday night when quarterback Joe Burrow completed a 13-yard pass to Tee Higgins, who was tackled by Hamlin.

The play appeared to be routine, as Hamlin quickly got up and briefly adjusted his face mask before he appeared to go limp and fell backward.

In the hours after Hamlin's collapse, fans across the country donated money to his charitable effort.

In late 2020, as Hamlin's college football career was coming to an end, he organized a charitable foundation and toy drive — with hopes of raising $2,500. By 12:45 p.m. ET Tuesday, the total had topped $4.1 million.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com