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Hamlin speaks publicly for first time since collapse: ‘The Love has been overwhelming’


On Saturday afternoon, for the first time since his heart stopped on the field in Cincinnati on Monday, Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin addressed the public via an Instagram post on his personal account.

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The full statement from his caption is as follows:

“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! #3Strong”

He also put out a shorter version of the same statement on his personal Twitter account:

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Earlier on Saturday, Doctors described Damar Hamlin‘s neurological function as “excellent” Saturday, as the Bills safety continued making progress in his recovery after having to be resuscitated on the field in a game at Cincinnati on Monday.

In providing their daily update on Hamlin, the Bills said the player continues to breathe on his own but remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin took a major step forward in his recovery on Friday when he was taken off a ventilator and showed an ability to speak.

The 24-year-old also made a brief live videoconference appearance Friday for his teammates, making several hand signs and saying, “Love you boys.”

The NFL also will show support for Hamlin during all Week 18 games, which start Saturday afternoon, including a pregame moment of support, painting Hamlin’s No. 3 on the 30-yard line and pregame shirts with “Love for Damar 3.” The Bills will also wear “3” jersey patches.

Las Vegas was the first team to pay tribute to Hamlin, holding a moment support and love for Hamlin and his family before their game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

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On Saturday, the Steelers paid tribute to Hamlin, who is from the Pittsburgh area, by delivering toys, books and teaching supplies to Kelly & Nina’s Daycare, where the player hosts an annual toy drive. Fans, players and team owners have also made donations to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation, which has raised just more than $8.2 million by Saturday afternoon.

— With files from Associated Press

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