Damar Hamlin has issued a message to his supporters.
The Buffalo Bills safety spoke out publicly for the first time since he suffered cardiac arrest on the field during a Jan. 2 NFL game.
"I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time, as it was just a lot to process within my own self, mentally, physically, even spiritually," Hamlin began in a video shared to his Instagram Jan. 28. "It's just been a lot to process, but 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."
The 24-year-old, who went on to thank the medical professionals who helped him, his family, friends and his team's fanbase, noted he "didn't feel anything short of love" during this tough time.
Hamlin also shared a note of gratitude for his teammates, who have rallied behind him amid his recovery.
"To the Bills organization and my brothers, who made it a priority to spiritually, mentally and every way possible reaching out every day seeing how I was doing, calling and texting, you know, just checking up on me no matter the situation, i'm proud to be a part of this team," he said. "I'm proud to be able to call you guys my brothers."
In his message, Hamlin also reflected on the wider impact of his medical emergency. "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 continued. "And now I'm able to give it back to charities 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'll continue to stand for."
Hamlin had suffered a cardiac arrest after tackling Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on the field at Paycor Stadium during the Bills' away game. At the time, Hamlin received CPR for over 10 minutes before being rushed to a local hospital. The following day, Hamlin's uncle Dorrian Glenn told CNN his nephew was placed on a ventilator.
The NFL player's health would eventually improve. His physicians Dr. Timothy Pritts and Dr. William Knight IV at UC Medical Center announced during a Jan. 5 press conference Hamlin "is beginning to awaken, and it appears that his neurological condition and function is intact."
Following his hospitalization at UC Medical Center, Hamlin was transferred to New York's Buffalo General Hospital. Since then, he has been discharged and sent home, per a Jan. 11 statement from the Buffalo Bills on Twitter.
After his release, Hamlin showed support for his team in person by attending their playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 22. As seen in a video posted to the team's Twitter page the same day, he was spotted holding up a heart symbol with his hands inside a private suite at the stadium.