Boston Bombings

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Boston ER Doctor Finds Marathon Memories Hard to Shake

By Leana Wen, for NPR

(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

I have a recurring nightmare where I am performing CPR on a patient who turns out to be my husband.

Last Monday, my nightmare nearly came true.

It was 2:50 p.m., and the Massachusetts General Hospital ER was filled to capacity.

In the section where I was working, my patients were critically ill, with strokes, heart attacks and overwhelming infections. Even the hallways were packed with patients receiving emergency treatments.

A call over the loudspeakers announced that there had been two explosions. Many people were injured. That’s all we knew.

Screams mixed with ambulance sirens. The loudspeaker sounded again and again, announcing that more patients were on their way.
Doctors, nurses and transporters disconnected monitors and rushed to send every patient to other areas of the hospital.

As we cleared the emergency room, there was a second call. These were bombings. There were fatalities and dozens, maybe hundreds, of injured. How many were coming to Mass General? Nobody knew.

Three minutes later, the doors flew open. Stretchers came, one after the other. Some victims had no pulse and weren’t breathing. Others had legs blown to shreds. All were covered with blood and soot.

The ER smelled of burnt flesh, and each stretcher left behind a fresh trail of blood. Continue reading

Sacramento Native and Her Husband Face Amputation, Rehab Together After Boston Bombings

Patrick and Jessica Kensky Downes, newlyweds, who each lost their lower left leg in the Boston bombings. (Photo from Jessica's Facebook page)

Patrick and Jessica Kensky Downes, newlyweds, who each lost their lower left leg in the Boston bombings. (Photo from Jessica’s Facebook page)

A week after the Boston Marathon bombing, only the most seriously injured are still hospitalized. Sacramento native Jessica Kensky Downes and her husband Patrick are among them. As Martha Bebinger of WBUR reports, the couple were at the finish line when the explosions ripped through the crowd. Patrick and Jessica both each lost the lower part of their left legs.

From WBUR:

Friends are having a hard time reconciling this news with memories of the joyful pair who married just last August.  Smiles in photos of Jessica and Patrick jump off the screen.

“But that’s not just a photograph,” says Leslie Kelly, who watched Jessica grow up just outside Sacramento, Calif.  “Those two are the happiest, most optimistic, wonderful people,” continues Kelly, which provides “a real good foundation for both of them going forward.” Continue reading