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UGA Student Shot During Armed Robbery Launches Foundation

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Caitlin O’Donnell/Athens Banner Herald
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University of Georgia lacrosse player Tate Prezzano was shot during a botched armed robbery attempt earlier this year.

After sustaining gunshots to the head, neck and shoulder, the 22-year old senior has come a long way, but he is still not 100 percent physically recovered.

“I’m still doing pain management with medications as well as I’m going to physical therapy two or three times a week,” Prezzano said. “I’m just trying to get in the best condition I can, to hopefully play in the spring because I got granted a 5th year of eligibility, which is absolutely crazy to me. The head of the entire league is the head coach at Georgia Tech, so I thought that was pretty funny.”

During a press conference at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital Wednesday morning, Prezzano, along with his father Dobbin and hospital doctors and staff announced the formation of the Tate Tough Foundation, with goals of providing scholarships and raising awareness about campus safety.

“This young man who took three bullets and he still has a bullet in his shoulder, he still bullet fragments in his neck and as we mentioned earlier, one of those fragments is one millimeter from his spinal cord,” according to Dobbin Prezzano. "He amazed us six days after the incident happened by walking out of the hospital and he’s made incredible progress.”

Phil Haymore found Prezzano bleeding on the sidewalk after the shooting. The ICU manager at Piedmont stopped to help the wounded student.

“I saw him literally curled up on his side lying in a pool of blood in front of the bus stop,” Haymore said. “I just pulled my truck up onto the sidewalk and ran up to him. In my mind it’s like anyone would do this, but in reality I was the only one that stopped.”

Prezzano is taking 16 credits this semester, and 15 next in an effort to graduate in the spring. The Tate Tough Foundation has three pillars:

Assistance with Tate's continued health and recovery.

Scholarships for student athletes.

Increased awareness and campus security.

For more information visit www.tatetough.com.

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