BUFFALO, NY — Security Bills damar hamlin shared his first public comments since he went into cardiac arrest on January 1. 2 posting a almost six minute video to his Instagram account on Saturday night thanking everyone for the continued support and well wishes over the past month.

Captioning the video “From The Heart,” Hamlin, 24, said it was important for him to wait to speak publicly at the “right time” as it was “a lot to process within myself: mentally, physically, even spiritually”. The video was filmed at the team’s facility in Orchard Park, New York. He included in the video that he continues to make progress in his recovery.

“I can’t express how grateful I am for all the love, all the support and everything that has come my way,” Hamlin said. “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 love straight from my heart with the whole world and I can give it back to the children.” and communities around the world that need it most, and that has always been my dream. That has always been what I stood for and what I will continue to stand for.”

The video comes nearly a week after Hamlin made his first public appearance during the Bills’ playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was shown on the video board raising his hands in the shape of a heart, in what has become his signature gesture, as he cheered on the crowd.

As Hamlin continued to recover, he posted messages and photos on social media full of updates and thanks for his well wishes.

Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation raised more than $9 million in the days after his hospitalization, with the money going through GoFundMe for a toy drive that had an initial goal of $2,500. He said that he was surprised by all the support.

“That was something that started even long before I got to the NFL, something that started small just so it could affect my little community back home, McKees Rocks. [Pennsylvania]”Hamlin said. “I just wanted to be able to play my part and do my part in my community while I was out there and chasing my dreams of making the NFL, and you guys just took that and blew it up, and I’m so excited about things. that I have planned in the future for these children across the country now.

Hamlin thanked the Bills training, athletic and medical staff, first responders, and medical staff and health care providers at hospitals in Cincinnati and Buffalo who played a role in saving his life, noting many by his name.

Hamlin stayed at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for nearly a week after going into cardiac arrest during the first quarter of the Bills’ Week 17 regular season game against the Bengals in Cincinnati. He then flew to New York and spent about two days at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, before being released on January 1. eleven

She went on to thank her parents, Mario and Nina, “who are literally my anchors and my everything, who have never left my side all the time,” and her 7-year-old brother, Damir, “who is my why, my reason. “. why I strive to be my best self every day.”

In the video, Hamlin also thanked his family, friends, teammates and the entire Bills organization for continuing to visit and offer support. It also recognized the Bengals and the NFL as a whole for “putting team loyalty aside to encourage a child’s life,” with teams and the league showing their support for Hamlin in a variety of ways, from donations to prayers and jerseys. before. Games of week 18.

“I’m not surprised,” Hamlin said, “but I am deeply grateful, and will be forever grateful and indebted for that.”

Hamlin also thanked the fans, especially the Bills Mafia, for the love and support, noting that all the kids who sent him letters and gifts have inspired him.

“It’s always been important to me to be a role model, but just seeing the love and support from young people,” Hamlin said, “it just makes me want to give back and go out into communities and touch kids and just be that example that they can look at, touch, feel, talk about and know that whatever they dream of is real. That’s pretty much what got me here.”

Hamlin ended the video with her hands forming a heart.

“I’m going to keep doing wonderful, great things,” Hamlin said. “I couldn’t do this without your support and love, and I can’t wait to continue taking you all on this journey with me.”

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