Family of Bills' Damar Hamlin thankful for outpouring of support

Football player crouches and holds face
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) pauses as Damar Hamlin is examined by medical staff during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday in Cincinnati.
Emilee Chinn | AP Photo

Damar Hamlin's family is expressing gratitude for the outpouring of support shown toward the Buffalo Bills safety while asking everyone to keep the hospitalized player in their prayers.

The 24-year-old Hamlin remains sedated and in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital a day after the Bills said his heart stopped while making a tackle in the opening quarter of a game against the Bengals. Medical staff restored his heartbeat during frantic moments on the field before he was loaded into an ambulance.

Hamlin's family says in a message posted on Twitter that it's deeply moved by the kind words and donations from around the country, and that the generosity and compassion shown has meant the world to them.

The pivotal game against the Cincinnati Bengals quickly lost significance in the aftermath of a scary scene that unfolded in front of a national television audience. Teammates surrounded Hamlin while he was getting CPR, shielding him from public view.

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Many were weeping and praying while Hamlin was treated on the field by team and independent medical personnel and local paramedics. Teammate Stefon Diggs later went to visit Hamlin at the hospital while fans of both teams gathered outside.

Fans give millions to Damar Hamlin's toy drive for kids

Damar Hamlin’s goal was simple: He wanted to raise $2,500 online to buy toys for needy kids. It took about two years.

Then came Monday, when the Buffalo Bills safety was critically injured and needed his heart restarted on the field in a chilling scene during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

He instantly became one of the biggest stories in sports, and thousands of people found his GoFundMe page. The result: Roughly $3.7 million donated in the first 12 hours. And the number is climbing.