Former NFL player Peyton Hillis has been hospitalized for the last week after a swimming accident, but he is showing improvement.
Hillis’s girlfriend, Angela Cole, wrote on Instagram that Hillis went into the water to save his children from drowning. Hillis was in intensive care and on a ventilator but now doing well enough that he no longer needs the ventilator.
“A hero,” Cole wrote. “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.”
Hillis was a seventh-round draft pick of the Broncos in 2008. After two years in Denver, Hillis was traded to Cleveland, and in his first year with the Browns he exploded for 1,177 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, plus 477 receiving yards and two more touchdowns, a spectacular season that landed him on the Madden cover. Hillis never reached those heights again in four more NFL seasons with the Browns, Chiefs and Giants. He retired after the 2014 season.