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Retired NFL star Peyton Hillis rescued after saving his children from drowning at a Florida beach

Retired NFL star Peyton Hillis rescued after saving his children from drowning at a Florida beach

The ex-NFL running back has been hospitalised after saving his children from drowning.

Former NFL running back Peyton Hillis has been hospitalised following a swimming accident on a beach in Florida.

On Wednesday, Hillis was airlifted from a Pensacola beach after he reportedly saved his two children from potentially drowning, as he damaged his kidneys and lungs in the process of the rescue.

Both of his children are safe and healthy, though Hillis is currently in intensive care to treat his injuries.

Newly released photographs showed a helicopter and two ambulances rushing to the scene. Another adult was also rushed to the hospital, according to TMZ.

People and organisations were quick to show love for Hillis for him completing this heroic act.

Hillis' alma mater, the University of Arkansas, released an update Friday: "Encouraged to learn he's doing better after his heroic act saving his family."

The 36-year-old's breathing is improving in intensive care, as he was unconscious when he was airlifted from the beach on Wednesday.

Fellow former Cleveland Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya asked fans on Twitter to to send their positive thoughts and regards to his old teammate, stating: "Please keep former teammate Peyton Hillis in your thoughts and prayers."

Hillis pictured in 2013. (Image

Current NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III also showed his support by tweeting: "Peyton Hillis is a dang Super Hero. 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."

Other members of the public were also quick to show support for the former-Browns player.

One person said: "Peyton Hillis reportedly saved his own children from drowning, putting his own life in peril. Great to hear he is progressing in his recovery."

While another added: "Man…prayers to Peyton Hillis and his family."

Hillis retired back in 2015. (Image

Hillis is best known for his 2010 season with the Cleveland Browns, where he accumulated 1,600 total yards and 13 touchdowns across the year. As a result of this impressive season, he won a national vote to be the cover athlete for the new NFL video game, Madden 12.

He has spoken out about his mental health struggles in the past, which he suffered from throughout his career, ultimately leading to his retirement in 2015.

Hillis stated in an interview: "I didn't care as much anymore, I didn't care to work at it. Football brought me down. I still love the game and I still have a lot of friends in the game, but as far as NFL football goes, my heart's just not in it anymore."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hillis and his family during this tough time.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: NFL, American Football