Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said in his first public video message since his cardiac arrest earlier this month that he feels his life-threatening medical emergency “is a direct example of God” using him.

“I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time as it was just a lot to process,” Hamlin said in a video Saturday after his cardiac arrest after making a tackle during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. He was discharged from the hospital nine days later.

“I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of all the love, all the support and everything that’s just been coming in my way,” Hamlin said.

“What happened to me on Monday Night Football I feel is a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love directly from my heart with the entire world, and I’m able to give it back to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most, and that’s always been my dream. That’s always been what I stood for and what I’ll continue to stand for,” Hamlin said. 

He also expressed gratitude to the first responders and doctors who worked to save his life.

After his cardiac arrest, Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation raised more than $9 million. The money will be used to support toy and back-to-school drives as well as children’s camps, according to the fundraising page.

He was incredibly grateful for the donations to his organization, which he said he started before his NFL career. 

“This is just the beginning of the impact that I wanted to have on the world and with God’s guidance, I will continue to do wonderful and great things,” Hamlin said.

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