The Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin shared his first Instagram post since he suffered cardiac arrest during the team’s Monday Night Football matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 24-year-old, who remains hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, shared a powerful message to thank everyone for their support on Saturday, January 7.
Hamlin captioned a series of photos, “When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much.. 🏾🏾🏾 The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. 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! 🏾❤️3️⃣ #3strong.”
On Friday, Bills general manager Brandon Beane recalled the incredible moment when he and Hamlin’s parents, Nina and Mario, got to tell the Pittsburgh alum about how his GoFundMe Toy Drive raised over $8 million since his medical emergency
“We were laughing and she’s like, ‘He just wanted $2,500 for this thing,'” Beane said during a video press conference. “She’s like some of the toys he bought, there was always some disagreements with which child gets this toy and that one and I was like, ‘You’re gonna be passing out cars next year, not toys.'”
On Saturday, Hamlin also posted his first tweet since being hospitalized. He wrote, “Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much… thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed. This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me! 🏾3️⃣.” A few hours later, he tweeted, “The love is felt, & extremely real. No matter race or religion everybody coming together in prayer! 🙏❤️
Hamlin’s social media posts on Saturday quickly went viral and the comments sections blew up with messages from his teammates, fellow athletes, and fans across the nation. While the NFL resumed its Week 18 matchups on Saturday, Hamlin’s remarkable recovery is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Amid ESPN on NFL’s pregame broadcast ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders matchup, former Bills coach turned analyst Rex Ryan broke down in tears discussing Hamlin’s incredible progress.
During pregame warm-ups across the league, all players will be rocking t-shirts honoring Hamlin, and his jersey No. 3 is emblazoned in Bills colors on the field’s 30-yard line. When the Bills host the New England Patriots on Sunday, January 8, they will wear No. 3 patches on their jerseys, and the team is preparing to do a moving tribute to Hamlin, the athletic trainers who helped save his life, and the doctors at UC Medical Center.
Damar Hamlin Remains in Critical Condition
The Bills shared another official update on Hamlin’s status on Saturday. The team tweeted, “Per the physicians at UC Medical Center, Damar is making continued progress in his recovery yet remains in critical condition. He continues to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent.”
While it’s not a huge improvement from the day before, on Saturday afternoon, Hamlin shared a positive update on his Instagram stories that put a smile on everyone’s faces. “Back working, back smiling!!!” he wrote, posting a photo of himself on a Facetime call with Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin and rapper Meek Mill with a huge open grin on his face.
On January 6, the team shared the following update: “Per the physicians at UCMC, Damar’s breathing tube was removed overnight. He continues to progress remarkably in his recovery. His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team.”
A FaceTime Call From Damar Hamlin Has Completely Reinvograted the Bills Team
After such a traumatic night at Paycor Stadium, it was hard to imagine how the Bills would power through and play their final regular season against the Patriots. But after receiving a Facetime call from Hamlin himself — everything changed.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said Hamlin flexed his muscles for the team during the video chat and said, “I love you, boys,” per the team’s official website.
Beane said that no matter how this season shakes out, Buffalo has already won. “I’ll probably get emotional if I talk too much about it, but I’m so proud of our organization, our team, just so many people the way we’ve dealt with so much this year,” Beane said. “Definitely not the way you draw it up. I don’t know what’s gonna happen the rest of season on the field, I really don’t. This is a group of winners, and I will forever remember this team, this season, the moments of it.
“I’m still hopefully optimistic that we can make a run. But I don’t know if there’s ever a team I’ll be more proud of than this.”