Editor’s Note: This is the second of a multi-part series on Blue Bell’s Eddie DiDonato, 23, the former La Salle College High and Villanova University lacrosse standout who is recovering from a shooting incident in Philadelphia
By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/21/10
Eddie DiDonato had to accept the reality of being taken care of when he was first transferred to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in March after spending six weeks in Jefferson University Hospital.
“I have learned patience and I have also learned humility,” DiDonato said of his recovery.
“Things that you take for granted and are used to doing by yourself were a problem for me. I was always used to doing everything on my own; but I had to have help for just about everything.
“Like I said about humility … there were many embarrassing moments – things I didn’t think I’d have to worry about until I was much older.”
DiDonato suffered six gunshot wounds during a Jan. 17 altercation in Philadelphia’s Old City. He spent 4 weeks on the critical list at Jefferson, with wounds to his liver, lungs, stomach, clavicle, spine and hand.
When DiDonato first arrived at Magee, activities of daily living, routine activities that people tend to do every day without assistance, needed to be done for him. Even with help, he could barely stand for seconds.
“Here (at Magee) in the beginning, the toughest thing was the frustration of not being able to complete rehab tasks,” he said. “They were simple things, like putting on my socks and even sweating while trying to put them on – then realizing, I couldn’t do it.
“It’s very humbling. You just really have to understand that you take one step at a time, there is no quick fix and people are there to help you.”
DiDonato continues to make steady progress and it’s how far he has come that pushes him to conquer his remaining physical challenge, the loss of feeling and limited use of his left foot, as a result of the injury to his spine.
“I can’t move my toes and sometimes I get nerve pains; they are like shocks through my leg and they go all the way down to the foot,” he said.
“I remember when it was first happening. I was lying in bed with pain going through my leg, and the burning feeling was so bad I was in agony. My doctor says that the nerves are re-growing and trying to communicate again. It’s a lot of pain, but at the same time, I know what’s going on – I’m getting better.”
Next: DiDonato continues his rehab at Magee
DiDonato’s condition stabilizes after being moved back into Intensive Care; is downgraded to critical
DiDonato’s former teammate: ‘It’s pretty incredible how lucky and strong he’s been the past couple of days’
Contributing editor: Kristen Imperiale