The Boston Marathon or as us Bostonians refer to it as Marathon Monday is always one of the biggest events in this historic city and let’s just say I picked a bad day to get my glasses fixed. The previous night a part of my glasses fell off and a small component broke off, so I woke up around mid-day to trek to Boylston Street where the Lensecrafters was and even though I didn’t initially plan to go down to watch the marathon in the first place, it was an added bonus. It took me about two hours to get from one side of the street to other as I had stopped occasionally to watch the runners, but also the streets were as packed as Times Square on New Years Eve.
As I was leaving the lenscrafters, I was faced with the decision to go either right or left, one way back to navigate around the finish line or try my luck down the reverse way of the marathon. My decision turned out to save my life, because as I took a right and walked for some of ten seconds and suddenly I knew something was wrong when there was a shuddering blast and searing pain in my leg. I was 15 to 20 feet away from the first blast and I honestly don’t know how I didn’t get hurt any more being at that close of a proximity, but thankfully things worked out in my favor. Despite the pain in my leg I was going to go in and help anyone who I saw was injured in the area, but then the second blast went off while my back was still turned and not knowing how many more there could be I followed the crowd away from the area of the blasts.
I hobbled into a local Nike store and asked if they had a towel so I could apply pressure to my leg as I noticed I was bleeding quite a lot. From there a store worker who had medical experience took me to the side of the street and helped stop the bleeding and get supplies to help me out. The scariest part of this experience was realizing that my injury was in my upper right thigh, where the femoral artery is located so I waited on the side the street not knowing if I was going to meet the same fate as Redskins Safety Sean Taylor who received a similar injury a few years ago and passed away. From there I was taken by a bulk ATV to the triage center, where my information was recorded and my injuries were assessed and thankfully I found out the artery was not damaged, but there may still be shrapnel in my leg. I was taken to the hospital a dozen or so minutes later and if I had to guess, from blast to the ambulance ride, the time frame was probably 30 to 50 minutes; my journey was expedited as I was a class C victim so I was moved to make room for people in critical condition. I was taken to Saint Elizabeth’s hospital, which was daunting at first, but immediately I knew I was in good hands as everything was done in a professional and comprehensive manner.
First, the doctors noticed that there was no exit wound from the shrapnel, so they did an X-ray to see if there were any foreign objects still in my leg, which there was. Then the surgical consult was called and they cut the other side of my leg open to remove the shrapnel, which proved to be an inch long metal nail like object. After I was taken care of I was interviewed by Boston PD and Homeland security who asked me my version of the events and since I took photos of the marathon, my phone was taken to download the photos for evidence.
I applaud Boston first responders for their fantastic job and for being so organized in such a situation of panic and chaos. Right away, phone services were shut down to prevent potential further remote detonation and police and medical personnel jumped into action. I could not count the number of volunteers who helped calm down people who were panicking and working to ease the level of discord. The reactions of people right at the moment of the blast and post-blast were of disbelief and shock and those immediately turned to horror and panic as everyone tried to ensure themselves and family members were ok. This is my story from that fateful day and it is something that I will always remember through my entire life, but I could not have preserved and gotten through such a chaotic and life-changing event without the amazing support system I have here at Northeastern University and back home.