Peyton Hillis expects full recovery after lengthy hospital stay

Former Arkansas and NFL running back Peyton Hillis said Tuesday that he expects to make a full recovery after being hospitalized earlier this year when he reportedly rescued several people during a swimming accident in Florida.

As part of a lengthy social media post -- his first since the incident -- Hillis expressed thanks for the "love and support" he received and for the help staff at the hospital gave him, saying each made "all the difference" in his recovery.

"I haven't taken any interviews on this because I'd like to keep my family out of the public eye because it was a very traumatic time for us," he wrote on Twitter. "But I did want to come on here and show my appreciation for everyone who helped save my life and for all of your prayers and love and support. I left the hospital with no worries and concerns and should make a 100 percent recovery. I'm a very lucky and blessed man."

Hillis reportedly aided in a water rescue Jan. 4 off the coast of Pensacola that involved at least one family member.

According to Escambia County emergency services, four people -- two adults and two children -- were struggling in the water when a bystander helped them get out. Paramedics arrived on the scene, and two adults went to the hospital, including one who was taken by helicopter. Officials would not identify who was involved.

Hillis' girlfriend, Angela Cole, previously posted that he was on a ventilator in intensive care before being taken off it while at the hospital.

Hillis played for four NFL teams, most notably the Cleveland Browns, with whom he ran for 1,177 yards in the 2010 season and 587 in 2011.

He finished his career in 2014 with the New York Giants and also played for the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.

At Arkansas, Hillis ran for 960 total yards in four seasons but was primarily a blocking back for Darren McFadden.

Information from ESPN's Jake Trotter was used in this report.