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Damar Hamlin thanks Bills fans, medical staff in first video message since cardiac arrest

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For the first time since his cardiac arrest almost a month ago, Damar Hamlin has addressed the public directly. 

The Bills safety, who collapsed during Buffalo’s game against Cincinnati on Jan. 2, took the opportunity to express his gratitude for all the support he has received in the wake of the incident.

The video message was posted Saturday on his and the Bills’ social media accounts.  

Damar Hamlin’s video message

“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 directly into the camera.

The Bills’ season came to an end when they were blown out at home by the Bengals in the divisional round. Hamlin attended the game in Orchard Park, N.Y. 

MORE: Josh Allen on Damar Hamlin body double conspiracy theory: ‘That’s stupid . . . stop that s—’

“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,” he said. “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.

“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, and I’m able to give it back to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most, and that’s always been my dream.”

Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation received over $9 million in donations from fans around the world after his medical emergency in Cincinnati. The charity was established to “give back to the people who helped him get to where he is today and lift up the next generation of youth.” 

MORE: The cause behind Damar Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation, and how you can make a donation 

Hamlin went on to thank a long list of medical staff members who helped care for him. He received CPR on the field for several minutes before being transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center via ambulance. After a week of recovery, he was transferred to the Kaleida Health facility in Buffalo, before being released from the hospital on Jan. 11. 

After thanking his close family and friends, he then sent a message of appreciation directly to Bills fans. 

“Ever since I became a Buffalo Bill, it’s been nothing but genuine love and support, not even only for me but everyone’s situation,” he said. “No matter what it was, Bills Mafia jumped behind it and gave 110 percent support. . . . It really helped me stay encouraged to get through the toughest moments and the toughest times.”

He then thanked his Bills teammates and the NFL as a whole for their support. 

“Just for putting team allegiances aside to root for one kid’s life, and just the humanity of a player that’s wearing Buffalo blue, you put 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’ll be forever thankful and indebted to that.”

MORE: Bills tight end Dawson Knox honors Damar Hamlin with heart TD celebration

His message ended with a look to the future. 

“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.” he said. “I couldn’t do this without all the support and the love, and I can’t wait to continue to take you on this journey with me.”

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