By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/26/10
Former Villanova lacrosse captain Eddie DiDonato, shot six times during an Old City altercation on Jan. 17, has been upgraded to fair condition this afternoon following several successful surgical procedures at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, a spokesperson said.
DiDonato, 23, of Blue Bell, had been making a strong recovery after coming into the hospital in critical condition following the shootings. But after being upgraded to fair condition late last week, he suffered an infection during the weekend that brought his temperature as high as 106 degrees, according to his best friend, Rob Forster, who relayed information from the family.
DiDonato underwent his sixth surgery late Monday night in order for doctors to stabilize his condition, Forster said. A more serious surgery was needed Monday morning after DiDonato’s condition first worsened, he said.
Meanwhile, support for the former All-American from La Salle College High continued to swell on his Facebook page, “Support Eddie DiDionato in his road to recovery!!!” The page, created by Forster, who played lacrosse with DiDonato at La Salle, now has 2,385 fans, many of whom continue to write words of encouragement on his Wall.
Forster said he plans to visit DiDonato tomorrow to deliver a lacrosse shirt signed by members of the Philadelphia Wings.
The suspect in the shooting, Gerald Ung, 28, a Temple law student, had his preliminary hearing continued Monday and rescheduled for April 16. He is charged with attempted murder and is out on 10 percent of $200,000 bail.
DiDonato, the nephew of city Republican leader Michael Meehan, was a two-time captain (defenseman) at Villanova and graduated last May with a degree in criminal justice.
DiDonato was an All-American for La Salle in 2005 and helped the Explorers win the 2004 state championship. He was a four-year starter at Villanova, and led the Wildcats to the Colonial Athletic Association championship last year and into the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time in school history. He also earned Second Team All-CAA honors.
DiDonato helped lead La Salle to the Keystone Cup championship as a junior when the Explorers went 28-2 and whipped Shady Side Academy, 13-5, for the state crown. As a senior he led La Salle to the finals of the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Athletic Association tournament where his Explorers (29-3) fell to Haverford School. DiDonato was a two-time all-EPSLA (All-State) pick and played club lacrosse for the Duke’s Lacrosse Club.