Former NFL running back Peyton Hillis is reportedly dealing with kidney issues as he remains hospitalized after a swimming accident in Pensacola, Fla. on Wednesday.
Although Hillis, who was airlifted to a local hospital after reportedly saving his two kids from drowning at the beach, has made minor improvements, doctors are greatly concerned about his kidneys, according to Memphis’ WREG.com. The 36-year-old Hillis also reportedly sustained lung damage in the incident.
KNWA and Fox24 anchor Alyssa Orange, who covers the Arkansas Razorbacks, shared the same report. Orange also reported on Thursday that Hillis was on a ventilator and remains unconscious in the ICU.
That day, Hillis’ uncle Greg Hillis took to Facebook to provide the following update: “I just wanted to let everyone know on Razorback Nation that Peyton is doing better. He’s still in intensive care and having some problems with his kidneys and his lungs but the doctors say he is improving.”
On Friday, the University of Arkansas, Hillis’ alma mater, tweeted that he was “doing better after his heroic act saving his family.”
Former NFL players Ryan Clark and Marcus Spears, who currently serve as analysts on ESPN, tweeted their support for Hillis and included a report that said Hillis’ kidneys were not functioning properly.
A prayer vigil was held for Hillis in his native Arkansas in the football stadium at Shiloh Christian on Sunday.
In photos from the incident, lifeguards and other medical personnel can be seen tending to Hillis on the beach. A helicopter and two ambulances eventually arrived to the scene, with the chopper landing on the road before transporting Hillis to a local hospital.
Hillis shares his two children with his ex-wife Amanda Hillis, whom he divorced in 2020.
The former NFL star is reported to be dating singer/actress Angela Cole, who is his co-star from the 2021 indie thriller “The Hunting.”
Willis and Cole spent Christmas together, according to photos she shared to Instagram last month. The pair also hosted the American Advertising Federation Awards together in 2021.
Hillis was drafted by the Broncos in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft and spent two seasons in Denver before stints with the Browns, Chiefs and Giants. He was released by the Giants in the 2015 offseason and later retired.