David Ortiz Stable, Awake After Undergoing Surgery in Boston

Doctors had to remove David Ortiz's gallbladder and part of his intestines after the Red Sox great was shot in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday

What to Know

  • Red Sox great David Ortiz was flown via medical helicopter from Santo Domingo to Boston after being shot on Sunday.
  • Ortiz, also known as Big Papi, was shot at close range in the "lower back/abdominal region" while at a bar in his native Dominican Republic.
  • Doctors removed the retired athlete's gallbladder and part of his intestines.

Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is stable and awake after undergoing a second surgery, his wife said Tuesday morning.

Ortiz had already undergone one surgery in the Dominican Republic, where he was shot at a bar this weekend, before the second surgery in Boston.

“David arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital last night and underwent a successful second surgery. He is stable, awake, and resting comfortably this morning in the ICU where he is expected to remain for the next several days," Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement issued by the Red Sox.

She went on to thank the Red Sox, Massachusetts General Hospital and everyone "for the outpouring of support and love" they have received. She asked for privacy "as David works towards recovery."

ESPN's Marly Rivera reported earlier Tuesday that Ortiz's spokesman, Leo Lopez, told her that Ortiz's surgery lasted until 1 a.m. He is now in stable condition, resting in intensive care, and will be monitored closely for the next 28 to 48 hours. 

Ortiz is "alert and has talked to his family," ESPN said, and doctors say they expect a full recovery. Lopez added that Ortiz "even flashed that smile." Ortiz reportedly took a few steps at the hospital on Tuesday as well.

The athlete affectionately known as Big Papi was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday night after being flown to Boston by air ambulance from his native Dominican Republic, where he was ambushed and shot.

The 43-year-old retired athlete arrived at Logan Airport around 10 p.m. Monday on a flight arranged by the Red Sox. From there, he was escorted by police to MGH.

Doctors removed Ortiz's gallbladder, intestines and moved him to intensive care, according to Lopez.

"We're grateful to everyone who was on the scene last night who got David the care he needed," Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy said Monday during a press conference.

Support and well wishes poured out for the Red Sox great as fans and colleagues shared words of encouragement for Ortiz. A moment of silence was held on Monday at Fenway Park for Big Papi before the Red Sox faced the Texas Rangers.

"It's appropriate and expected that this community would rally around David when he needs us the most," Kennedy said.

Lopez said Ortiz's liver was damaged in the Sunday night shooting. An MGH doctor who spoke with NBC10 Boston said patients who suffer gunshot wounds to that region are typically able to recover.

"If a gunshot damages part of the liver or the gall bladder of part of the intestines, they can actually recover," Dr. Ali Raja said. "Trauma surgeons and general surgeons can take out the gallbladder, can take out part of the liver. Most patients end up doing just fine in the long run."

Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo around 8:50 p.m. when the shooting happened, according to Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte. A gunman approached the baseball star from behind and shot him in his "lower back/abdominal region" at close range.

Ortiz was taken to the Abel Gonzalez clinic for surgery, where his condition was later listed as stable, according to Bautista.

Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, 25, has been identified as the motorcyclist who drove by Ortiz carrying a gunman, but not as the shooter. A second arrest was made on Tuesday night in the Dominican Republic, according to reports, but there is no indication that the arrest is of the gunman.

A crowd at the bar beat Garcia and held him until police arrived. Bautista said police are waiting until the man is treated for his injuries before questioning him.

Eliezer Salvador, who was at the scene, said the gunman said nothing, just fired once. Salvador then drove a wounded Ortiz to the hospital, telling reporters they had a brief conversation in the car as he urged the baseball great to stay calm and breathe.

"Do you have any problems with anyone?" Salvador recalled asking him, to which Ortiz replied: "No, my brother, I've never wronged anyone."

Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Bautista said.

Ortiz hit 541 homers in 20 major league seasons, including 14 with the Red Sox. He helped lead Boston to three World Series titles and retired after the 2016 season. He was a 10-time All-Star and World Series MVP in 2013.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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