Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz recalled the chilling details of his time spent in the hospital after being shot in June.
Ortiz, who threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park on Monday, sat down with the Boston Globe for his first public comments since the shooting.
In the interview, he talked about the incident and the investigation.
"I felt a burning sensation," Ortiz said. "I felt weird, like not myself, as I went down."
Ortiz, 43, was at a Santo Domingo bar in his native Dominican Republic on June 9 when a suspect shot him at close range.
He had to have three surgeries and suffered a potentially deadly infection while recovering.
"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."
He added: "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."
When Ortiz returned to Boston, he hired former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis' firm, The Edward Davis Company, to look into the shooting.
"I want to find out who did this," Ortiz said. "I'm not going to sit around and chill if there's somebody out there who wants to kill me."
A 10-time All-Star, Ortiz is an icon in Boston, where he helped lead the Red Sox to three World Series titles.
He was released from the hospital at the end of July.
"I like to embrace people, make them feel comfortable around me," Ortiz said. "I was always very accessible, but I think I'm going to cut down on that a little now.
"One lesson I've learned is that you can't be naive. There are a lot of things going on now that you have to be aware of. I need to pay attention and be more careful."
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