‘The Love has been overwhelming’: Damar Hamlin makes first public comments since on-field cardiac arrest

Following his collapse during Monday Night Football and after nearly a week hospitalized in critical condition, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin touched on gratitude and faith in his first public comments.

Viewers were shocked Monday when during the first quarter of the matchup between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals Hamlin collapsed on field when his heart reportedly stopped moments after taking a hit during a routine play. For days following the medical emergency, the 24-year-old player remained intubated and in an induced coma as people from all walks off life united in praying for his recovery.

Saturday, though still critical according to a statement from his team, Hamlin who had resumed breathing on his own and was communicating with family and teammates, issued a comment on Instagram reflecting on the response to his incident.

“When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much,” he began.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by DaⓂ️ar Hamlin <3 (@d.ham3)

“The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out,” he continued with emojis of hands making hearts. “We brung the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”

Similarly, Hamlin posted an abridged version to Twitter and also wrote, “The love is felt, & extremely real. No matter race or religion everybody coming together in prayer!”

https://twitter.com/HamlinIsland/status/1611891183864758272

The footballer’s claim was far from conjecture as evidenced at the onset of Saturday’s matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans, one of the first two NFL games played following the suspension and ultimate cancellation of Bills game. During pregame, players and coaches gathered out on the field and took a knee in a moment of silent prayer only broken when they stood back up and attendees erupted in cheers and applause.

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham shared a clip of the moment and commented, “There is power in prayer!” a sentiment echoed by many more over recent days.

https://twitter.com/TonyDungy/status/1612108911401746435

 

Thoughts and prayers weren’t the only way that the public united behind Hamlin as people sought to find away to take action to show their support, not just for a player that was injured, but a for a young man of admirable character who was seeking to make a difference in his own community.

Throughout the week, individuals and organizations from all walks of life began contributing to a crowdfunding campaign begun by Hamlin and his charitable group, The Chasing M’s Foundation, that had hoped to raise a mere $2,500 to purchase toys for deserving kids in his hometown of McKees Rocks, PA.

Nearly a quarter of a million donations have been made at the time of this posting with the largest being a symbolic $33,333 and the total raised has surmounted $8.4 million.

The magnitude of generosity led the campaign to provide an updated message to explain, “Damar created The Chasing M’s Foundation to use as a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community. The foundation supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more. We’re hopeful about Damar’s future involvement in disbursing the incredibly generous contributions.”

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