Former NFL running back making progress after swimming accident

Former NFL running back Peyton Hillis is on the road to recovery following a swimming accident last week. On Wednesday, Hillis was taken off a ventilator and making positive strides, according to his girlfriend Angela Cole.

Cole shared the positive update on her Instagram account and expressed gratitude for the love and support the family has received.

‘Peyton is off the ventilator and is on the road to recovery,’ Cole wrote. ‘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.’

Hillis, 36, was hospitalized and listed in critical condition after rescuing his children from drowning off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. He was hospitalized and listed in critical condition. KNWA Fox 24 reporter Alyssa Orange also reported Hillis was in intensive care.

Former athletes and the sports community offered support for Hillis. ESPN analyst Robert Griffin III was encouraged by the latest update and called Hillis a superhero for his efforts in saving his family.

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‘Peyton Hillis is a dang Super Hero,’ Griffin wrote in a tweet. ‘He saved his kids from drowning in the ocean while putting his own life in danger for the sake of his family. Glad to hear he is on the road to recovery after being in critical condition.’ 

Cole echoed a similar sentiment in her Instagram post.

‘A hero. So proud of this man and so incredibly grateful for family and this incredible hospital,’ Cole wrote.

She concluded, ‘Today was a good day.’

Hillis played collegiately at Arkansas. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He recorded 2,832 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns during his seven-year career, which also included stints with the Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants.

During the 2010 season, Hillis experienced a breakout year with the Browns. He rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns. He added 61 receptions for 477 yards and two scores. Hillis later landed the cover of the ‘Madden 12’ video game.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY