PENSACOLA, Fla. (WFLA) – From dad to hero, former NFL running back Peyton Hillis needs prayers as he remains in the intensive care unit after he rescued his children from drowning at a Florida beach last week.

According to WREG, Hillis was airlifted following the accident last Wednesday. Despite making minor improvements in some areas, more prayers were asked as additional issues with his kidneys were “cause for concern.”

“This reporter was told Peyton is battling and definitely needs as many prayers as he can get,” the outlet reported.

On Thursday night, a relative of Hillis posted on Facebook that Peyton was “doing better.”

“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 his is improving,” Hillis wrote. “I just wanted to head off any rumors that may be started. I’m sure he would want everyone to know that he appreciates all of the prayers being thrown up on his behalf!!!”

A prayer vigil was held for Hillis on Sunday night at the Shiloh Christian School football stadium in Arkansas.

The Razorback standout was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft.

After spending two seasons with the Broncos, the seven-year veteran went on to play for the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and the New York Giants. Hillis was also featured on the cover of Madden NFL 12.

During his NFL career, Hillis starred in 81 games with 34 starts. He rushed for 2,832 yards and 23 touchdowns and caught 1,050 yards and three touchdowns. Hillis retired from the NFL in 2015.