Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has spoken out for the first time since collapsing on the field during Monday’s game.
In an Instagram post Saturday, the pro footballer thanked those around the world who have been supporting and praying for him.
“When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3xs as much,” he wrote. “The love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out… If you know me, you know this is only going to make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me! #3strong”
During the first quarter of the Jan. 2, Monday Night Football match-up between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, Hamlin stood up after a tackle, but collapsed right after. After being treated on the field by emergency medical personnel, Hamlin was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center via ambulance, and the game was temporarily suspended, eventually cancelled. In a tweet posted the next morning, the Bills said that Hamlin had “suffered a cardiac arrest” after the hit in question.
As of Saturday, Hamlin has been making continued progress in his recovery, yet remains in critical condition. According to a tweet from the Bills’ official account, doctors at UC Medical Center say he “continues to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent.” Friday, it was reported that his lungs were continuing to heal and that he was making “steady” progress.
Monday’s game was ultimately cancelled in light of the injury. The Bills are now scheduled to take on the New England Patriots Sunday at 1/12c on CBS.