damar hamlins surprise appearance at nfl event brings tears with his emotional speech

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin vowed that his journey “will continue” in a surprise speech in front of first responders who helped save his life following an on-field cardiac arrest last month (You can watch Hamlin’s speech in the video below).

Hamlin, following an introduction from “Abbott Elementary” star Sheryl Lee Ralph, received a standing ovation and recognized medical professionals during the NFL Honors ceremony in Phoenix on Thursday.

The football player received CPR, and medical professionals used a defibrillator on him in a moment that surprised sports fans during the Bills’ Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

On Thursday, Hamlin kicked off the emotional speech by thanking God that he could even be at the ceremony as he reflected on last month’s medical scare.

“Every day I am amazed that my experiences could encourage so many others across the country and across the world,” Hamlin said.

“Encourage to pray, encourage to spread love and encourage keep fighting no matter the circumstances.”

“Sudden cardiac arrest was nothing I would have ever chosen to have been a part of my story, but that’s because sometimes our own visions are too small even when we think we’re seeing a bigger picture. My vision was about playing in the NFL and being the best player I could be. But God’s plan was to have a purpose greater than any game in this world.”

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin speaks in front of University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff during the NFL Honors award show on Thursday in Phoenix.
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

He later acknowledged his journey ahead and showed gratitude to first responders, whom he later hugged on stage.

“I want to give a special thank you to everyone on this stage for everything they did for me,” Hamlin said.

“And thank you to everyone around the world who prayed for me and hoped for me. The journey will continue.”

The ceremony also included the presentation of the NFL’s most-valuable-player award to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington, who has been recognized for his response to Hamlin’s terrifying cardiac arrest, received one vote for the award from ESPN’s Suzy Kolber.

Dr. Thom Mayer, medical director with the NFL Players Association, recently delivered a promising prediction about Hamlin and said he guaranteed that the safety “will play professional football again.”

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