Damar Hamlin Aims to 'Eventually' Return to NFL After 'Trauma' of Cardiac Arrest: 'In God's Hands'

"I'm still trying to process all the emotions, the trauma, that comes from dealing with a situation like that," the athlete said on Good Morning America

Damar Hamlin has his eye on returning to the football field, but in his first television interview since suffering sudden cardiac arrest, said it will be a gradual process.

"Still working through things. I'm still trying to process all the emotions, the trauma, that comes from dealing with a situation like that," Hamlin, 24, told Good Morning America's Michael Strahan.

For the Buffalo Bills safety, whose heart stopped mid-game during Monday Night Football on Jan. 2, the event was a traumatic experience.

But the second-year player said he is moving forward with his recovery.

"I'm doing great," Hamlin said. "Every morning, every night, I take 10 deep breaths to myself and it puts everything in perspective for me."

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However, when Strahan, 51, asked him to revisit the moment when he hit the ground after making a tackle, and whether the athlete remembered what happened, Hamlin took a long pause.

"That's something that I don't really want to get that deep into, in the details of," he said.

Hamlin said he watched the video of the moment a couple of times while he was in the intensive care unit, and still questions "why it happened to me."

"It was a crazy feeling — something I couldn't really describe," he said about watching the replay. "Something I'm still processing, something I'm trying to work through."

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 02: Bills safety Damar Hamlin (3) waits for the game to start during the Buffalo Bills versus Baltimore Ravens NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2, 2022 in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Damar Hamlin. Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire/Getty

On Sunday before the Super Bowl, Hamlin appeared on the field with the first responders who helped to save his life, and the Pittsburgh-area native also took the stage last Thursday night during the annual NFL Honors event.

Hamlin told Strahan on Monday that medical professionals have left his return to the field up to the athlete himself.

"It's a tough situation because they can't really tell," Hamlin said. "It's an up-to-me-thing, I guess. It's a long road; they were just worrying about trying to get me back to normal."

Damar Hamlin on Good Morning America
Damar Hamlin. Good Morning America/Twitter

Yet when asked whether he wants to play football again, he briefly hesitated. "You know, eventually, that's always the goal," Hamlin said, "but I'm allowing that to be in God's hands."

And as the star continues his recovery, Hamlin is looking out for others along the way.

"Right now I'm teaming up with the American Heart Association," he said. "We're trying to get 3 million people to apply and learn CPR, and that's something I feel is important because it really did save my life that night."

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