Fabio Licitra (in the ANSA photo above), Salvatore's brother, briefly met the press earlier today in Catania together with the director of Garibaldi Hospital ICU Director and the neuroseurgeon who performed surgery on the late tenor, who passed away yesterday after nine days in a coma due to the consequences of a traffic accident.
Fabio, who looks very much like his late brother -- same barrel chest, strong arms, jet black hair and closely cropped beard -- said:
"I have very few things to add because there really are no words. Donating my brother's organs for transplant was very important to all of us even if it obviously does not console our family's grieving very much. In life, Salvatore was generous towards all, as everybody who knew him knows. My mother and I know that he wanted to help as much as possible, even in death. In the theater and outside, he was a most generous human being".
The late tenor's kidneys and liver have already been transplanted, helping three patients on a transplant list. His corneas will be transplanted soon. Licitra's lungs had been damaged in the crash and they were not suitable for transplant.
Sergio Pintaudi, the director of the ICU where Licitra passed away explained that Licitra's heart could not be used for transplant, either. And Salvatore Cicero, the surgeon who performed the emergency surgery after the crash, explained that "it is not possible to determine with absolute certainty if Licitra suffered a cerebral hemorrhage immediately before or after the crash... It was immediately evident in the brain scans that there was something else, besides the consequences of the trauma. As soon as he got to the ER it was immediately clear the his conditions were extremely dramatic".
Earlier this afternoon, at 3PM, the foyer of the Teatro Vincenzo Bellini in Catania has been opened to the public: the tenor's body will lie in state there for the people to pay their respects. The foyer will be open to the public until 9PM tonight, and will reopen tomorrow from 9AM to 5PM. The singer's body will be then flown tomorrow night from Catania to Vedano Al Lambro, close to Monza, on the outskirts of Milan, where his family lives, for the funeral and burial to take place the day after tomorrow.