Thursday, 18 February 2010

Gorres, the fallen victor, comes home

By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - With no fanfare, boxer Z “The Dream” Gorres arrived home yesterday, more than three months after he nearly lost his life for winning what proved to be his last fight on the ring.

He flew in from Las Vegas under cover of darkness and was wheeled to a VIP room. He looked happy shaking the hands of some of his well-wishers as he made his way out of the immigration line.

Gorres granted an early interview with GMA-7. He held on to the microphone and stammered as he fielded simple questions. But he sounded very happy that he’s finally home and will get to see his children

“By God’s mercy, I’m okay,” said Gorres in Filipino as he sat on a wheelchair and often wiped his face with a white towel.

“Good morning,” he said. “I’m very happy being able to return to see my kids. I have four kids.”

Gorres, who underwent brain surgery after collapsing on the ring just moments after winning his bout against Luis Melendez last Nov. 13 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, was flown straight to his home province of Cebu.

He held a press conference later in the day, and again showed his happiness being able to return home, when three months ago there was great doubt whether he would live.

Gorres thanked his family and friends as well as his fans for providing all the support, and singled out Sen. Lito Lapid as the only government official to visit him while he was fighting for his life.

“He was the only one who visited me, and I’d like to thank him for helping me,” said Gorres.

Manny Pacquiao, the greatest boxer in the planet today, has vowed to provide financial support for Gorres, now that he’s home, and never to fight again.

Gorres’ hospital bills in Las Vegas totalled more than half a million dollars. His promoter, Top Rank, shouldered $50,000 and the rest was paid for by the state of Nevada.

Now, he needs to continue with his rehabilitation, and his personal doctor, US-based physician Benito Calderon, said there’s a very good chance Gorres will be able to walk again.

“His improvement was so fast, we did not expect it,” Calderon said, adding that Gorres, who suffered paralysis on the left side of his body, is now able to move freely and can even get up with the help of a walker.

It will take time before Gorres fully recovers. But what’s important, to him, his family and friends, is that he’s finally home.

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