Surgeons reveal how close Ortiz came to death

David Ortiz is still recovering from the gunshot wound he sustained in an attempted hit at a bar in the Dominican Republic, and now the surgeons who initially treated him are revealing just how close the Boston Red Sox great was to mortal danger.

By the sound of it, Ortiz would be in a much scarier situation if he didn’t reach the hospital as soon as he did.

Warning, the following contains a stomach-churning recounting of major surgery.

David Ortiz’s life-saving surgery

Speaking with The Washington Post, Jose Smester, the surgeon who first attended to Ortiz, said that the 43-year-old suffered injuries to his liver, large intestine, small intestine and mesentery, the membrane that holds his intestines in place. Ortiz also had his gall bladder removed.

Thankfully, the bullet didn’t break apart in Ortiz’s body, nor did hit nearby blood vessels like the aorta and inferior vena cava. Per Smester, Ortiz could have entered a “critical stage” if he wasn’t cared for immediately:

“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,” Smester said. “But in that moment, you don’t think about death, you think about what you have to do.”

“The advantage is that he was always stable,” he added.

13 PHOTOS
Scene of David Ortiz shooting in Dominican Republic
See Gallery
Scene of David Ortiz shooting in Dominican Republic
Investigative police collect evidence at the Dial Bar and Lounge where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot the previous night in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the bar around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. (AP Photo/Luis Gomez)
Eliezer Salvador, who said he took former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to the hospital after he was shot the day before, holds Ortiz's shoes while speaking to the press outside the hospital where Ortiz is being treated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzmán)
A bloodied towel sits in the vehicle that was used to rush Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to the hospital the previous day after he was shot in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzmán)
An investigative police officer works to collect evidence outside the Dial Bar and Lounge where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot inside the previous night in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the bar around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. (AP Photo/Luis Gomez)
The Dial Bar and Lounge where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot the previous night in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the bar around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. (AP Photo/Luis Gomez)
A police officer stands guard at the hospital where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is hospitalized after being shot the previous day in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz's gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
The ambulance carrying former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is parked next to a small ambulance plane that will fly him to Boston, at Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz s gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed the previous day by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Juan Miguel Peña)
Some people and relatives of the former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz try to prevent the media from getting close and taking pictures of Ortiz in an ambulance at a hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, before he was carried to the airport Monday, June 10, 2019. Ortiz helped his adopted city recover from the Boston Marathon bombings. And now the Red Sox are calling on their fans to reciprocate for their beloved Big Papi. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
Porfirio Allende Dechamps Vazquez, a suspect in connection with the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is taken to court by police in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday, June 14, 2019. Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
Joel Rodríguez Cruz, a suspect in connection with the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is taken to court by police in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday, June 14, 2019. Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
José Eduardo Ciprian, a suspect in connection with the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is taken to court by police in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday, June 14, 2019. Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
The director of the National Police, General Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte shows the weapon that was used to shoot former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, during a press conference at the Attorney General's Office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Six suspects, including the alleged gunman, have been detained in the shooting, the Dominican Republic's chief prosecutor said Wednesday. (AP Photo / Roberto Guzman)
En esta fotografía del 11 de junio de 2019, Eddy Vladimir Feliz García, detenido en relación con el ataque a tiros contra el ex toletero de los medias Rojas de Boston, David Ortiz, es conducido por policías a un tribunal en Santo Domingo, República Dominicana. Su abogado, Deivi Solano, dijo que Feliz García no tenía idea de quien se trataba y confío en que le imputen complicidad en un intento de homicidio. (AP Foto/Roberto Guzman)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Jose Abel Gonzalez, the leader of the surgical team, reportedly told the Post that he found a liter of blood in Ortiz’s belly when he opened the abdomen and that Ortiz lost another half-liter during the surgery, which went from 10:30 p.m. local time to 3:30 a.m.

“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.”

The surgery reportedly consisted of twice patching the bleeding liver and sewing Ortiz’s intestines back together. Ortiz’s small intestine was apparently pierced in three places and carried a danger of infection as his gut bacteria entered his abdomen.

Thankfully, Ortiz survived, and was stable enough to be transported to Boston where he underwent a second undisclosed surgery. He is reportedly expected to make a full recovery.

“His life should not change,” Gonzalez said. “He should completely recover. He will have big injuries and might feel a little pain but can have a normal life.”

10 suspects linked to David Ortiz shooting

As Ortiz recovers, the hunt for all 10 of the men allegedly involved in the shooting continues.

Nine suspects have been arrested by Dominican police since the shooting per ABC News, including the alleged gunman Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz, a 25-year-old man who also goes by the name Ramón Martínez Perez.

The 10th suspect, a 31-year-old man named Luis Alfredo Rivas-Clase, is still at large and believed to be connected to another homicide in Reading, Pennsylvania, from last year, according to the Reading Eagle.

No motive behind the crime has been officially disclosed by police, though it has been reported that the men were paid $8,000 total by an unknown party for the hit.

More from Yahoo Sports:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.