Damar Hamlin speaks publicly for first time since cardiac arrest

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Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin released a nearly six-minute video on Saturday, sharing his gratitude for the support he’s received since suffering cardiac arrest on the field during Week 17 of the 2022-23 NFL regular season.

It marked the first time Hamlin has spoken publicly since he had to be resuscitated on the field on January 2. The video also came six days after the 24-year-old returned to Highmark Stadium as a spectator in Buffalo’s divisional-round loss. Cincinnati.

Titled “Thank You: A Message from Damar Hamlin,” the video opened with Hamlin walking into view, donning a jacket and sitting in a dimly lit room with the word “Bills” clearly visible behind him. Hamlin, who reportedly still needs oxygen and has his heart regularly monitored, showed no signs of injury as he wore a white T-shirt with the name of his charity, Chasing Millions, printed across the front and attached to a chain of gold with the initials “DM” hanging around the neck.

“Now that my brothers are coming off a good season of wins, as I continue to make so much progress in recovery, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” Hamlin began. “I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time because there was just so much to process within my own self, mentally, physically, even spiritually. [has] it’s been a lot to process but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the love and support and everything [has] I just got in my way.

“What happened to me on Monday Night Football, I feel like it’s a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love straight from my heart with the whole world, and now I’m able to to give back to kids and communities around the world who need it most, and that’s always been my dream,” Hamlin continued. “This has always been what I stood for and what I will continue to stand for.”

Hamlin thanked the Bills’ medical, athletic and training staff for acting “quickly and skillfully to save his life” and both the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Buffalo General Medical Center, where he shared his recovery

“[Thank you] to my mom and dad, who are literally my anchors and my everything, who never left my side at all times. To my little girl, who is my reason for trying to be my best self every day, and to my family and friends who supported me in so many ways during this time. … To Bills Mafia, I just want to say thank you for the genuine love and support. … I felt nothing but love, and it really helped keep me motivated to get through the hardest times and the hardest times. I really can’t thank you enough.

“To the entire Bills organization and my brothers who made it a priority to elevate me spiritually, mentally and in every way possible,” Hamlin continued. “I’m proud to be a part of this team… To the city of Cincinnati, the Bengals and the entire NFL, just to put team loyalty aside to root for a kid’s life and just the humanity of the players… I am deeply grateful… To all the children who sent me touching letters and gifts, you mean the world to me. You made my day every day… Thank you to everyone who gave of any way to the Chasing M Foundation. My mind is literally blown by all the support. I don’t even have the words to express my gratitude for the amount of support that was given.”

Bills fans and sports fans across the country have donated more than $9 million to their charity over the past four weeks.

“While I am very grateful to everyone, I know that being grateful is not enough,” Hamlin concluded. “This is just the beginning of the impact 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 it without this support and love, and I can’t wait to continue bringing – you on this journey with me.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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