Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has issued his first public statement since suffering a cardiac arrest during a NFL game five days ago, thanking fans for their support.
The 24-year-old on Monday night collappsed during the Bills’ game against Cincinnati Bengals after colliding with wide receiver Tee Higgins. He had his heart restarted on the pitch and against upon arrival at hospital.
After showing signs of improvement in hospital this week and speaking to his team-mates on Friday, Hamlin posted a picture of himself on Instagram on Saturday, describing the love from well-wishers as "overwhelming".
In his post he said: "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!"
After receiving medical attention on the field on Monday night, Hamlin was taken into hospital and the game was subsequently suspended.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed on Friday that the fixture has been cancelled completely following talks with the Bills, Bengals and the NFL Players Association.
Ahead of a round of Saturday night fixtures in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders held a moment of support with applause and cheers around the Allegiant Stadium for Hamlin.
The Bills are still due to face the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
Additional reporting by Press Association.