Hero Ex-NFL Star Is 'on the Road to Recovery'

Girlfriend says Peyton Hillis is now breathing on his own after almost drowning
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2023 9:04 AM CST
Updated Jan 13, 2023 7:40 AM CST
Ex-NFL Star in Critical Condition After Saving Kids From Ocean
New York Giants' Peyton Hillis (33) is seen during a NFL football camp in East Rutherford, NJ, Wednesday, July 23, 2014.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
UPDATE Jan 13, 2023 7:40 AM CST

Angela Cole, girlfriend of former NFL player Peyton Hillis, shared an encouraging update Wednesday night, a week after he was hospitalized in critical condition, Sports Illustrated reports. Relatives said Hillis almost drowned while rescuing one of his children and the child of a relative from the ocean off Pensacola, Florida, earlier this month. "A hero," Cole wrote in an Instagram post. "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."

Jan 6, 2023 9:04 AM CST

Former University of Arkansas and NFL running back Peyton Hillis is fighting for his life in the hospital after rescuing two children from the ocean off Pensacola, Florida, on Wednesday, a fellow former Razorback says. "One of Peyton's children and the child of one of his other relatives went out too far in the ocean, and Peyton and another relative went out to save them, which they did," Marvin Caston tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "But Peyton got a lot of salt water in his lungs and nearly drowned." Hillis, 36, was "helicoptered to the hospital" and "remains unconscious in the ICU," KNWA journalist Alyssa Orange tweeted early Friday.

Caston says a family member told him "they've been working at the hospital to get all the salt water pumped out of his lungs and to get his kidney function restored." "I just wanted to let everyone know on Razorback Nation that Peyton is doing better," uncle Greg Hillis said in a Facebook post," per Fox. "He’s still in intensive care and having some problems with his kidneys and his lungs but doctors say he is improving." Hillis retired from the NFL in 2015 after a seven-season career with teams including the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and New York Giants. (Read more NFL stories.)

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