Monday’s Mashup: David Ortiz opens up on almost dying in Dominican Republic shooting

Lucy Burdge
September 16, 2019 - 5:00 am

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-- David Ortiz gave his first interview this weekend since surviving a shooting in the Dominican Republic in June. 

In the interview with the Boston Globe, Ortiz described getting shot in the back on June 9 while at an outdoor restaurant in the Dominican. 

“I felt a burning sensation,” Ortiz said. “I felt weird, like not myself, as I went down … People need to understand, this isn’t a movie where you get shot in the street and you’re back two minutes later... No, I got shot and almost died. I only have one life to live. I can’t just go to the pharmacy and buy another one.”

The former Red Sox star said he never lost consciousness and was aware he had been shot but did not want to look at the injury. 

“I didn’t want to look at it, to be honest,” he said. “I don’t even remember how much I bled.”

He also said the pain set in as he went into surgery and he said to the doctors, “Please don’t let me die. I have four children. I want to be with them.”

Ortiz said three weeks after his surgery he developed a life-threatening acute bacterial infection that affected his digestive system. He had a fever that caused chills Ortiz compared to that of when he had hypothermia as a child. 

“It was very dangerous,” Ortiz said. “I got to the point that I started losing hope.”

He said underwent an urgent surgery and then was only fed through tubes and IV lines for seven weeks. Ortiz could only swallow ice chips and lost 40 pounds. 

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

After doctors told him he would survive, Ortiz said he readied “for the possibility that he would be permanently debilitated.”

“I felt that if I didn’t die, then I would never be the same again,” he said. “I went through hell with that.”

He is now focused on finding his attacker. 

“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,” Ortiz said. “You gotta pay a lot more than that to get me killed. I ain’t that cheap.”

Ortiz also spoke with Univision for an interview in Spanish in which he also opened up on the shooting.

"When the bullet hit me, the first thing I felt was like a sting. The first five seconds I thought I was having a nightmare. [Then> a man named Eliezer, who I am very thankful for, he helped me and took me to the hospital," he said. "I was feeling something that I had never felt before and that was just the feeling of trying to survive.” 


-- Rob Gronkowski and his girlfriend, Camille Kostek, took part in the Gronk Fitness Seaport Sweat on Sunday and ended up dancing to the Backstreet Boys as the event concluded.

@gronk & @camillekostek were dancing to the @backstreetboys this morning in the Seaport as part of the #SeaportSweat free fitness series with @gronkfitness.

A post shared by The Boston Calendar (@thebostoncal) on

Kostek also posted a video to her Instagram of herself dancing with Gronkowski at the event.

BOSTON SHOWED UP --❤️ #NeverNotDancing makes for the best Sunday Funday mood especially during a group workout with @gronkfitness @ #SeaportSweat -- community and health and getting your mind right is what this is all about !!! -- @owen.moy song by @kygomusic ‘higher love’

A post shared by CAMILLE KOSTEK (@camillekostek) on

Football Sunday’s are spent a little different now #SeaportSweat @gronkfitness --

A post shared by CAMILLE KOSTEK (@camillekostek) on

Seaport Sweat is a free outdoor workout series that has been held in the district throughout the summer and this workout was hosted by Gronk Fitness. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s always good. If you don’t let them score, you can’t lose.” -- Bill Belichick, on the Patriots shutting out the Dolphins