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Damar Hamlin thanks fans for support in his first social media posts since collapse

An artist's portrait of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is displayed Thursday outside UC Medical Center, where the 24-year-old remains hospitalized.
Joshua A. Bickel
An artist's portrait of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is displayed Thursday outside UC Medical Center, where the 24-year-old remains hospitalized.

Updated January 7, 2023 at 6:17 PM ET

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a Monday night game, has made his first public comments on social media since the incident.

"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!" he wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening.

He posted a similar message on Instagram.

Hamlin remains in critical condition but continues to make progress in his recovery as of Saturday, the Bills said.

According to the team, Hamlin is breathing on his own and talking with his family and team. He has also communicated with his family, teammates and coaches via video.

Physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where the 24-year-old is being treated, had earlier said that Hamlin's breathing tube was removed and he continues to progress "remarkably," the team reported Friday morning.

"His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team," the Bills said.

UCMC shared the Bills update on Twitter, adding, "Continued wonderful progress for #DamarHamlin!"

The Bills added that Hamlin spoke to his teammates and coaches through FaceTime Friday morning, saying, "Love you boys."

Hamlin's heart stopped beating following what seemed like a routine tackle during Monday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. First responders resuscitated him by performing CPR and using a defibrillator. UCMC physicians praised the first responders' quick actions as life-saving.

The NFL said it will not reschedule the Bills-Bengals game, which was stopped in the first quarter after Hamlin collapsed. The league said in a news release Thursday that the game cancellation will have "no effect" on which clubs will qualify for the postseason.

"This has been a very difficult week," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We continue to focus on the recovery of Damar Hamlin and are encouraged by the improvements in his condition as well as the tremendous outpouring of support and care for Damar and his family from across the country."

Juliana Kim contributed reporting.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ashley Ahn
Ashley Ahn is an intern for the Digital News and Graphics desks. She previously covered the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for CNN's health and medical unit and the trial of Ahmaud Arbery's killers for CNN's Atlanta News Bureau. She also wrote pieces for USA TODAY and served as the Executive Editor of her college's student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. Recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Ahn is pursuing a master's degree in computer science at Columbia University.