Former NFL running back Peyton Hillis has finally released a statement following his near-death experience, where he saved his children from drowning last week. In an Instagram post from Hillis’ girlfriend Angela Cole, it sounds like things are looking up for the former Madden cover athlete.
According to the post, Hillis is no longer in need of a ventilator. This is a huge sigh of relief for fans who worried about the state of Hillis who is undergoing kidney issues following the accident. Cole said:
“A hero. So proud of this man and so incredibly grateful for family and this incredible hospital. Peyton is off the ventilator and is on the road to recovery. Please continue to pray for he’s still got a ways ahead of him, but thank you for all of your prayers and love and support thus far. It truly makes all the difference. Today was a good day.”
This news comes as a great relief, following a quick update from Hillis’ uncle last week on Facebook, saying:
Peyton Hillis’ uncle posted this on Facebook and @OtisKirk23 brought it to my attention. #WPS pic.twitter.com/jYRvQPGAXF
— Alyssa Orange (@AlyssaOrange) January 6, 2023
“I just wanted to let everyone know on Razorback Nation that Peyton is doing better. He’s still in intensive care and having some problems with his kidneys and his lungs but the doctors say he is improving. I just wanted to head off any rumors that may be started. I’m sure he would want everyone to know that he appreciates all of the prayers be thrown up on his behalf!!!”
Many former teammates and opponents, as well as fans and broadcaster, have voiced their support for Hillis on Twitter:
“There is POWER in prayer! Peyton Hillis is off the ventilator and doing much better in his recovery. Awesome job by the medical professionals caring for him.” – Robert Griffin III
“This country is full of heroism, Damar Hamlin for his giving spirit, Peyton Hillis for epitomizing fatherhood…look around your community– first responders, fire fighters, cops, nurses, doctors, teachers, military, so many more. Selflessness and bravery everywhere you look.” – Rich Ohrnberger
“Thinking about our man @thepeytonhillis. Encouraged to learn he’s doing better after his heroic act saving his family.” – Arkansas Razorbacks football
Peyton Hillis had a storied career as an underdog who fought his way into a starting role with the Cleveland Brown and eventually earned so much love from the fans that he was voted onto the cover of Madden 12. As Bleacher Report explained, Hillis played like “a battering ram in the form of a crash test dummy.” He was quick to initiate contact and battle for extra yards, in a way that fans adored.
Pro Football Talk gave this account of his career, from a statistical standpoint:
“Hillis was a seventh-round draft pick of the Broncos in 2008. After two years in Denver, Hillis was traded to Cleveland, and in his first year with the Browns he exploded for 1,177 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, plus 477 receiving yards and two more touchdowns, a spectacular season that landed him on the Madden cover. Hillis never reached those heights again in four more NFL seasons with the Browns, Chiefs and Giants. He retired after the 2014 season.”
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