Damar Hamlin breaks silence on cardiac arrest in video message

NFL star Damar Hamlin has spoken publicly for the first time since suffering a cardiac arrest on the field during a game for the Buffalo Bills. Hamlin released a lengthy video on his Instagram page thanking fans and giving an update on his condition.

The NFL world was rocked earlier in January when Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin took a routine hit from Bengals star Tee Higgins, and after initially getting up, fell to the turf in clear discomfort.

Medical crews rushed onto the field to tend to Hamlin and, with the use of CPR and a defibrillator, were able to restart his heart and get him to the University of Cincinnati Hospital, where the 24-year-old went through critical condition and was ultimately released. Since being discharged from hospital, Hamlin has used his social media accounts but hasn’t spoken publicly, despite appearing at last weekend’s game against the Bengals.

Now, however, he’s broken his silence and explained why he chose to wait before speaking for the first time.

He said: “Now that my brothers have closed out a strong winning season, as I continue to make so much progress recovering, I think it’s a good time to start sharing some things. I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly for the first time as it took a long time to process within myself physically, mentally and spiritually, it’s been a lot to process.

“I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of all the love, all the support, and everything that’s just been coming my way. 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 the heart to the entire world. I’m able to give it back to the kids and communities all across the world who need it most, and that’s always been my dream, that’s always been what I’ve stood for and what I’ll continue to stand for.”

Hamlin took time to thank the medical professionals who saved his life, both at the stadium and at hospital afterwards. He also spoke about how touched he was to see the reaction of the wider NFL world. Teams throughout the league all wore shirts with his number on them with the message ‘Pray for Damar’, while the number three on the field was highlighted in honour of his jersey number.

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