Peyton Hillis – Who Was In ICU After Drowning Incident – Makes First Public Statement

Angela Cole / Instagram

On January 5th, it was reported that former NFL player Peyton Hillis was in the ICU after saving his children, whom he shares with ex-wife Amanda Hillis, and two other adults from drowning.

That same day, Hillis’ uncle revealed that his nephew was having problems with his kidneys and lungs, “but doctors say he is improving.” Peyton Hillis was raised in Conway, Arkansas, where he was a standout athlete. He was named Best High School Football Player in the state and was considered the best fullback in the nation.

Hillis attended college at the University of Arkansas where he tied the SEC freshman touchdown record. As a senior in 2007, he set a program single-season record for running backs. His career 118 catches set a U of A school record for receptions by a running back.

He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2008. Two years later he was traded to Cleveland where he saw his greatest professional success.

He was skilled enough to be chosen to be on the 2011 cover of the video game Madden 12.


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A post shared by Peyton Hillis (@peytonhillisofficial)

His former college team tweeted their support on January 6th, saying, “Encouraged to learn he’s doing better after his heroic act saving his family.”

Pig Trail Nation reported, “As of Sunday morning prayers were asked for as some additional issues with his kidneys is cause for concern…Peyton is battling and definitely needs as many prayers as he can get. Initially the lungs and kidneys were the main issues. But the source said this morning his kidneys are a great concern now.”

On January 11, Hillis’ girlfriend, Angela Cole, revealed on Instagram that doctors had removed his ventilator.

“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,” she wrote along side a video montage of photos of them.


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A post shared by Angela Cole (@angelacoleofficial)

According to a post from Cole, Hillis was released from the hospital on January 20th. She shared a photo of her, Hillis, surrounded by his medical team. She wrote, “God is so good.  The amount of love and gratitude I have for the incredible team that took care of Peyton is indescribable.”


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A post shared by Angela Cole (@angelacoleofficial)

Now, Hillis has made his first public statement since his accident, thanking everyone for their support during the fight of his life.

“I just wanted to come on here and thank everyone for all the prayers and love y’all have given me,”  he wrote. “It’s really made all the difference.”

He revealed he isn’t doing public interviews about it to protect his family’s privacy, but he did want to let everyone know how thankful he is for the medical staff who tended to him.

“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 support. I left the hospital with no worries and concerns and should make a 100% recovery. I’m a  very lucky and blessed man.”

See his full statement below.