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Colts safety and Damar Hamlin's friend Rodney Thomas raced to the Bills player's hospital bedside

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Colts safety and Damar Hamlin's friend Rodney Thomas raced to the Bills player's hospital bedside

Damar Hamlin’s childhood friend and Colts safety Rodney Thomas ran to his hospital bed after his cardiac arrest – with whom he had spoken earlier in the day – and insisted he was ‘going to walk under of his own power… it will be a special day’

When Rodney Thomas II heard that his childhood friend and high school teammate Damar Hamlin was in a hospital in Cincinnati, he got into his car and started driving.

Hamlin suffered a heart episode during a game between his Buffalo Bills team and the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the game was postponed.

Thomas — a safety with the Indianapolis Colts — first heard what happened when his father FaceTimed him and began the more than 100-mile drive, the team’s website detailed.

Colts safety Rodney Thomas II said he drove to Cincinnati after news of Damar Hamlin's injury

Colts safety Rodney Thomas II said he drove to Cincinnati after news of Damar Hamlin’s injury

‘I have a goal,’ said Thomas. ‘I knew where I was going, so I just hit the road and I just went. Laser focused.’

Arriving at the hospital, Thomas was able to enter Hamlin’s room, hold his friend’s hand and talk to him.

‘I know he can hear me,’ said Thomas. ‘Even if he can’t hear me, it doesn’t matter. I said what I had to say.’

Both Thomas and Hamlin attended Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic High School and were teammates on the school’s football team.

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The two stayed in touch despite this – with Hamlin staying home for college at the University of Pittsburgh and Thomas heading to Yale.

Thomas said they talked that day, and when he arrived at the hospital, he began to relax knowing his friend was in good hands.

Hamlin was taken to a Cincinnati hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on Monday night

Hamlin was taken to a Cincinnati hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on Monday night

‘It calms me down,’ says Thomas. ‘It made the trip home much easier. I can go home and know he’ll be straight, I got him. We got him all. He has everything behind him. You see what is happening, everyone is behind him. And when he goes out there and sees the support he has, it’s going to be a really special day.’

Indianapolis plays at Houston this Sunday, where Thomas said he will be thinking about his friend throughout the season.

‘I put it where it should be – in my mind and playing for him, playing for what he represents,’ Thomas told reporters.

Thomas also thinks there is ‘no doubt’ that Hamlin will walk out of the hospital on his own.

‘There’s no doubt in my mind,’ said Thomas. ‘He’s a fighter. There was no other thought in my mind of him leaving under his own power.’

The NFL has not made a decision on how to proceed after the game was postponed. Considering how late in the season this incident occurred, there are a lot of logistics and playoff implications at stake.