Damar Hamlin thanks well-wishers in emotional messages on social media: ‘The love has been overwhelming’

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Damar Hamlin expressed his gratitude for everyone who has supported him in his first public remarks since undergoing cardiac arrest Monday night. Hamlin, who remains in critical condition at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, has made significant progress over the past several days that includes being able to breath on his own. 

Hamlin, whose neurological function has also been labeled as excellent, spoke to his teammates via FaceTime on Friday. His doctors, who conducted a press conference Thursday, stated that the goal for Hamlin is that he returns to the state he was in when he took the field to start Monday night’s game. 

“When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3X’s as much,” Hamlin wrote on his Instagram page. “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!”

Hamlin also thanked his supporters via his Twitter account. 

The NFL community has rallied around Hamlin, a second-year player who blossomed into a starter this season. Over $8.2 million has been donated to his charity as of this writing. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Saturday morning that players and coaches from all 32 teams will wear “Love for Damar” T-shirts during pregame warmups during this weekend’s games. 

Per a request from Hamlin’s father, the Bills will honor Hamlin with their play on the field. Buffalo (12-3) can sew up the AFC’s No. 2 seed with a win over New England on Sunday. 

“Mario, [Hamlin’s father], talking to us as a team, he kinda told us — demanded us — [to play for his son], and you can’t not honor his request to go out there and charge forward to the best of our abilities,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said Thursday. “Today’s news was a lot of tears of joy, but … that’s what he wants, that’s what his dad wants, and guys are excited to get out there. … We wanna go out there and play for 3. It’ll be a huge driving force.”

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