The family of an American football player who suffered a cardiac arrest during an NFL game have asked supporters to keep him in their prayers.
In a statement, Damar Hamlin’s relatives expressed their “sincere gratitude for the love and support” shown to him during “this challenging time” and thanked the first responders and hospital staff in Cincinnati after he was left in a critical condition.
They added: “We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans around the country.”
The Buffalo Bills defensive back collapsed on the field and was given CPR for about 10 minutes after he was injured after making a tackle during a match against the Cincinnati Bengals.
He collided with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in the incident on Monday night. He then had managed to get to his feet and appeared to adjust his helmet, but then tumbled backwards and lay motionless.
The Bills said the 24-year-old’s heart stopped before his heartbeat was then “restored” on the pitch by medical staff.
His football shirt was cut off, and he was reportedly given oxygen.
Hamlin was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further testing and treatment, the Bills said on their official Twitter account.
“He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition,” the club said.
His family added: “We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar.
“We feel so blessed to be part of the Buffalo Bills organisation and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach (Zac) Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done.
“Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as soon as we have them.”
During the incident, Tee Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit the defensive back in the chest.
Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down.
The episode led to a surge in donations for a charitable campaign set up by Hamlin two years ago to purchase toys for children in need. People have given about $4m (£3.3m) in less than 24 hours.
Bills players and staff prayed together on the field as an ambulance transported Hamlin to hospital.
His team-mates were given a standing ovation by fans and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the game had been postponed after the incident.