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Former Boston Red Sox Slugger David Ortiz Opens up in Emotional 1st Interview since DR Shooting

Monica Otayza
Sep 16, 2019
03:31 A.M.
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David Ortiz breaks his silence in the first tell-all interview he's had since the near-fatal shooting that happened in the Dominican Republic.


On June 9, 2019, David Ortiz's life was put at risk after he was shot in the torso while out partying in his native Dominican Republic. While he shares it was painless when he first realized he was shot in the torso, he started to feel a "burning sensation."

“I felt weird, like not myself, as I went down.’’

David Ortiz salutes the camera in full Red Sox gear | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

David Ortiz salutes the camera in full Red Sox gear | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine


A Surprising Turn of Events

Ortiz was having a night out with friends at the Dial and Bar Lounge in Santo Domingo when a gunman fired a single bullet from close range to his back. The bullet hit his torso and ended up lodged in one of his friends' leg.

Within seconds, Ortiz was on the bar floor, with everyone else rushing out to hide from the gunman. However, he had a glimmer of hope when someone rushed to his aid out of nowhere.

"Then this angel comes out of nowhere," he recalls.


Ortiz's Guardian Angel

That angel was Eliezer Salvador, a Dial bar patron who carried Ortiz into the back seat of his Rolls-Royce SUV. With so many other vehicles parked on the street, Salvador rammed it out of the way, with Ortiz rocking back and forth in his seat.

"He knew how to react. He kept talking to me to make sure I stayed awake."

Salvador brought Ortiz to the private clinic he often goes to, and he soon shared that he was once shot in the stomach himself.

Hats off for David Ortiz during a Red Sox match | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

Hats off for David Ortiz during a Red Sox match | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine


The Long Road to Recovery

After he reached the hospital, it took half an hour for the staff to evaluate and prepare him for surgery. As he was being rolled in, he had one request: for them to keep him alive.

“Please don’t let me die. I have four children. I want to be with them.’’


Sudden Roadblocks

Weeks after two surgeries, he encountered an acute bacterial infection that compromised his digestive system. The doctors didn't try to cover up the severity of the situation, to the point that Ortiz began to lose hope.

“I had nightmares all the time about being in the desert, looking for water. I would wake up with my mouth dry and feeling like I’m going to die.’’


A Pivotal Moment in His Recovery

At one point during his recovery process, he found his sister arguing with God to help him, with a bible open on her lap. According to Ortiz, this changed everything for him.

Slowly, he began to get better, and while it took long for his fever to disappear and for him to find his appetite again, he was able to do so in time.


Searching for Justice

While he's recovered from his injuries and all the complications that went with it, he is still puzzled about why he was shot.

“I don’t know why I was involved in something like this because I’m not the type of person who looks for trouble or causes trouble. All I worry about is trying to help people, about trying to do the right thing."

Now, it's back to regular programming for Ortiz, who is set to reach full recovery by Thanksgiving. While he's ready to go back to work, he knows it won't be the same as before and he is now more guarded.

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