Former NFL running back Peyton Hillis says he is set to make a 100% recovery in his first public comments since being placed in critical condition after helping save his two children from drowning at a beach in Pensacola Florida in early January. Hillis was discharged from the hospital two weeks after the swimming accident that initially had him on a ventilator.
On Tuesday, Hillis took to social media to provide a positive health update, while also thanking those who were on the scene to help save his life.
"I just wanted to come on here and thank everyone for all the prayers and love y'all have given me," Hillis' social media post reads. "It's really made all the difference. I also want to thank my brave sister, mother, sister in law, my kids, and my girlfriend who has saved my life in more ways than one. Thank you to the amazing staff at the hospital. Baptist hospital in Pensacola, y'all were truly amazing and too such great care of me. You made all the difference in my recovery.
"I haven't taken any interviews on this because I'd like to keep my family out of the public eye because it was a very traumatic time for us. But I did want to come on here and show my appreciation for everyone who helped save my life and for all of your prayers and love and support. I left the hospital with no worries and concerns and should make a 100% recovery. I'm a very lucky and blessed man. Yahweh has really blessed me and I am very thankful."
The 37-year-old was in critical condition after the accident that required him to be airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola and admitted into the ICU. His uncle, Greg Hillis, posted an initial update on Facebook on Jan. 5, saying Hillis was showing signs of improvement but noted he was "having some problems with his kidneys and lungs." Since then, Hillis has recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital and, by the most recent update, is well on the road to recovery.
Hillis was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2008 in the seventh round with the No. 227 overall pick. He also played with the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants. His final year in the NFL was 2014 and he officially retired in 2015.