Former NFL star Peyton Hillis ‘on the road to recovery’ after nearly drowning during rescue

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Former NFL star Peyton Hillis received a positive health update Wednesday from his girlfriend, Angela Cole.

Cole provided the update in an Instagram post along with a slideshow of photos showing the two dancing together. Cole said the former NFL running back was «on the road to recovery.»

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Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis runs against the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

«A hero,» he wrote. «So proud of this man and so incredibly grateful for the family and this amazing hospital. Peyton is off the ventilator and on her way to recovery. Please continue to pray as she still has a long way to go but thank you for everything.» her prayers, love and support so far. It really makes a difference. Today was a good day».

WREG-TV reported earlier in the week that Hillis was still dealing with kidney problems.

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Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis carries the ball against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis carries the ball against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Miami, Florida.
(Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)

Hillis was hospitalized last week after he saved his children from drowning in Pensacola, Florida. He needed to be airlifted to a local hospital, as he was experiencing lung and kidney damage.

Hillis, 36, was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft and spent his first two seasons there. However, he excelled as a member of the Cleveland Browns, rushing for 1,177 yards on 270 carries and scoring 11 touchdowns in 2010.

Although he did not make the Pro Bowl that season, he was rewarded by being the cover athlete for Madden NFL 12.

He spent the 2012 season with the Kansas City Chiefs before spending his final two seasons with the New York Giants.

Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis on the sidelines during a Colts game in Indianapolis on September 18, 2011.

Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis on the sidelines during a Colts game in Indianapolis on September 18, 2011.
(Reuters/Brent Smith)

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Hillis has been retired from the NFL since 2015.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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