‘Finally a good time to share’: Damar Hamlin shares first on-camera remarks since suffering cardiac arrest

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin made his first on-camera statement since he experienced cardiac arrest during a game last month, saying he felt that it was “finally a good time to share.”

Hamlin thanked everyone who helped him survive the incident and prayed for him to get better in a video posted to his Instagram on Saturday.

“Now that my brothers have closed out a strong winning season, as I continue to make so much progress recovering, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” he said.

He said he believed waiting to speak publicly was “important” as he had a lot to process following the incident.

Hamlin collapsed during the first quarter of a Monday Night Football game between the Bills and Cincinatti Bengals on Jan. 2 and was hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest. He tackled a player during the game and got up, but then fell to the ground moments later.

He needed to be resuscitated twice, once on the field and a second time at the hospital after his heart stopped. The Bills-Bengals game was canceled following his collapse.

Support for Hamlin to recover poured in from across the NFL and the country. People also donated more than $8 million to a toy drive fundraiser he had set up before he started playing in the NFL as a way of rallying around him.

“I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of all the love, all the support and everything that’s just been coming in my way,” Hamlin said.

He said he believes what happened to him was God using him as a “vessel” to share his passion and love with the world, and he can give that back to children and communities worldwide.

He thanked the Bills’ training and medical staff, first responders and the University of Cincinatti medical center, where he was initially taken before being transferred to a hospital in Buffalo days later. He also shared his appreciation for the medical providers at Buffalo Medical Center, his brother, and his parents, whom he called his “anchors.”

He said his “brothers” on the Bills worked to lift him up as he recovered and thanked people from across the NFL for putting “humanity above team loyalty.”

“You showed the world unity over division,” he said. “I’m not surprised by it, but I’m deeply grateful, and I will be forever thankful and indebted to that.”

The Bills safety made his first comments on Instagram following the game to thank those who saved his life earlier this month, and he attended his first NFL game since then on Sunday for the Bills’ divisional round playoff matchup against the Bengals.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.