Peyton Hillis expects full recovery after swimming accident

Peyton Hillis

Former NFL running back Peyton Hillis, in his first public comments since being hospitalized after assisting in a water rescue, said he expects to make a full recovery.

Hillis was in intensive care and on a ventilator in early January after helping rescue multiple swimmers, including at least one family member, off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.     

The 37-year-old made a social media post on Monday to thank medical personnel and those who prayed for him during his 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," Hillis wrote on Twitter. "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 percent recovery. I'm a very lucky and blessed man."

Hillis' girlfriend Angela Cole wrote in an Instagram post on Jan. 11 that Hillis was on "the road to recovery." On Jan. 20 she posted a photo of Hillis with the medical staff at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, writing that he had been discharged from the hospital.  

Hillis, a seventh round pick out of Arkansas in 2008, played for four NFL teams over his seven-year career from 2008 to 2014. He rushed for 1,177 yards during the 2010 season with the Cleveland Browns.