A grim update on Tuesday morning in Italy came from Dr. Alberto Delitala, the director of the Neuroscience Department at the San Camillo in Rome. Delitala, the doctor overseeing the care of 19-year old Italian swimmer Manuel Bortuzzo, who was shot between Saturday night and Sunday morning in Rome, says that the athlete has suffered a complete spinal cord injury.
“This unfortunately means that at the moment we believe that there cannot be a functional recovery of the movement of the legs,” Delitala said. “The possibility of regaining the movement of the legs with current medical knowledge is not possible.”
On Monday, doctors said that they suspected this to be the case, but by their Tuesday morning statements, they had confirmed their diagnosis.
The athlete remains in stable condition.
The 19-year old Manuel Bortuzzo moved to Rome to train at the Federal Training Center there under National Team coach Stefano Morini. There, he shared a training group with swimmers like Olympians Gabriele Detti and Gregorio Paltrinieri.
Investigators believe that Bortuzzo was not the intended target of the shooting; rather they believe that he and a group of friends were out for a drink in Rome and were walking past a bar where there had been a fight earlier in the night. Bortuzzo was shot by two men who drove by on a motor bike, and police have two suspects in custody.
Bortuzzo’s father said that Rome was becoming a dangerous place, and that such a thing would not have happened in the family’s home town of Treviso.