CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis is "on the road to recovery" after being placed on a ventilator in the ICU earlier this month following a swimming incident in Florida, according to his girlfriend Angela Cole.
Cole posted on Instagram Wednesday night, sharing an update on Hillis—that he had been taken off the ventilator and is making strides in his recovery.
In the post, Cole calls Hillis a "hero," referring to the incident that put the former running back in the ICU. Hillis reportedly was saving his children from the water while swimming in Pensacola, Florida.
"A hero. ❤️ 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. ❤️🙏🏻," Cole wrote in her post.
Hillis' sister Hayley shared a similar update on Facebook as well, writing, "I just wanted to update everyone that Peyton is off the ventilator and is doing great!! God has truly blessed us and we couldn’t be more thankful Peyt still has a long road of recovery ahead so please continue to pray but I wanted to update everyone with this happy news!"
Hillis is a Conway, Arkansas native who played college football at the University of Arkansas before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.
In 2010, Hillis was traded to the Browns in exchange for quarterback Brady Quinn and spent two years with the team, earning a spot on the cover of Madden NFL 12 during that time.
Hillis would go on to play for the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Giants before retiring in 2015.
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