Ohio State Wrestler Sammy Sasso Sustained “Severe Nerve Damage” In Shooting

By Garrick Hodge on August 26, 2023 at 10:09 pm
Sammy Sasso
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen/USA TODAY Network

Ohio State wrestler Sammy Sasso sustained "severe nerve damage" and will need to undergo "comprehensive physical therapy" to learn how to walk again after he was shot last weekend, per a GoFundMe established by his family Saturday.

Per the Sasso family, Sammy had emergency surgery to reconstruct his colon then underwent another surgery the following morning to remove the bullet near his spine.

The Sasso family set up a GoFundMe on Saturday, with more than $10,000 already raised. 

Per ABC6, the shooting occurred south of Ohio State’s campus at approximately 8:23 p.m. on Aug. 18, and medics took Sasso to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in serious condition. ABC6 reported that the shooting began as a robbery attempt, citing a police officer at the scene.

The full update from the family is provided below. 

Dear Friends, Family, and Compassionate Supporters

With hopeful hearts, we are reaching out to the community for support during this difficult time. On the evening of Friday, August 18th, beloved Ohio State wrestler Sammy Sasso suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen as a result of a carjacking.

Sammy was immediately rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to reconstruct his colon. The following morning, he underwent another surgery to remove the bullet near his spine. As a result of the bullet’s trajectory, he sustained severe nerve damage to his spine. After spending three days in ICU, he was transferred to an acute care unit where he continues to receive care for his injuries.

Upon his release from the hospital, he will be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility where he will undergo comprehensive physical therapy aimed at learning how to walk again. At this time, Sammy is unable to walk without assistance. While the doctors are hopeful that he will make a full recovery, Sammy has a long, difficult road ahead of him.

Sammy’s athletic journey has been one of triumph and inspiration. As a dedicated and hardworking wrestler, Sammy has achieved numerous successes throughout his life. To name a few, he is a two-time Big Ten wrestling champion, a four-time All-American, and a two-time NCAA Championship finalist. Before his successful college career, he wrestled for Nazareth High School, where he broke several of the school’s records. Additionally, he was a four-time Pennsylvania AAA state place winner and two-time state champion.

However, Sammy’s impact extends far beyond the mat.

What truly sets Sammy apart is his boundless kindness and selflessness. His dedication to his family and friends is unparalleled, and his uplifting presence radiates positivity. He has touched the lives of many. His infectious smile brightens the days of anyone fortunate enough to cross his path. His heart beats for coaching and guiding young minds, spreading his love for the sport of wrestling, and nurturing the potential within each child he encounters. From teaching the perfect cradle to instilling unwavering confidence, Sammy has been a mentor and a role model to countless wrestlers. He isn't just a wrestling champion; he's a champion when it comes to uplifting everyone around him.

Sammy’s journey has taken an unexpected turn, yet even in the face of adversity his spirit remains unbroken. The love and support pouring in from around the country is a testament to the mark Sammy has left on our hearts. Now, more than ever, Sammy needs support from the community.

Your contribution will help support Sammy’s recovery and provide him with the resources he needs to regain his strength and continue his inspirational journey. Every donation, no matter how big or small, brings us one step closer to providing Sammy the support he needs.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and support.

With love,

The Sasso Family

Donations can be made through the family's GoFundMe, which can be found here.

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