David Ortiz is lucky to be alive after he was shot last Sunday in his native Dominican Republic.
The former Boston Red Sox legend underwent two surgeries — one in the Dominican and one in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital. And that surgeon who performed the first operation spoke with the Washington Post and said Ortiz was in “stable,” but not “good” condition when he arrived at the hospital.
“He was stable. He was talking. But I can’t say he was in good condition,” Jose Smester, the first surgeon to attend to Ortiz said. “ … He was at a point, let’s say, where if he wasn’t taken care of right away, he could enter a critical stage.”
The 43-year-old had to have his gallbladder removed after sustaining damage to his liver and other intestines. Smester said Ortiz lost a lot of blood in the shooting.
“It’s a lot (of blood loss),” Smester said. “It’s not enough to bring him to a shock, especially someone like him who weighs a lot. But yes, when we opened him, his stomach was full of blood.”
But even through the blood loss, Smester said it’s never death a surgeon thinks about in a situation like this.
“The injuries he had were lethal, even separately, if they wouldn’t have been taken care of right away, especially the one on the liver,” he said. “But in that moment, you don’t think about death, you think about what you have to do.”
Ortiz continues to recover at MGH. He’s been making positive progress and has had an outpouring of support from fans and athletes around the world.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images