I was a spectator at the 2013 Boston Marathon and I was three blocks away when the bombs went off on Boylston Street. I had been cheering for a friend who had just finished and I was waiting for two more.
My friends and I were safe but we did not know that at the time. Scared, confused, and still unaware of the full extent of the situation, we began walking - then running - home to my apartment 3 miles away in Somerville, just as police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances were streaming past us and straight for the finish line.
When I got home, I remember feeling both relief for my safety and a deep regret for leaving. Maybe I could have done something. Maybe I could have helped someone. I will never forget the response of medical professionals and safety officers that day or the feeling of whether I could have done more.
Today, I have been given the opportunity to do more by running as part of MGH's Emergency Response Team. All the money I raise will go toward training and support for Massachusetts General Hospital's Emergency Response staff.
I am running in honor of my friend, Andrea Brophy Williams. Andrea is a former member of an emergency response team from a local hospital. She was stationed at the medical tent at Heartbreak Hill when she got the call to report to the finish line.
I am running for Andrea and for the women and men of MGH’s Emergency Response Team who keep us safe in Boston, the city I love. For those who care for us when we need it most. For those who are heading for the finish line when some of us are running home.
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL wrote:
Following the tragedy of the 2013 marathon bombings, Mass General was fortunate to receive 40 guaranteed entries from the Boston Athletic Association to create an Emergency Response Marathon Team.
For the sixth year, thanks to John Hancock, the Mass General Emergency Response Marathon Team will be able to continue raising funds to help provide critical support for emergency care, disaster relief and disaster preparedness teaching and training at Mass General; efforts that benefit victims worldwide.
These funds are crucial to ensure that Mass General is ready for the next disaster, man-made or natural, and to support the training and resources needed to develop a carefully, integrated response that spans multiple departments throughout the hospital. “There’s no room for error,” says David Brown, MD, chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Mass General. “Our performance must be flawless. As in football, if one player of the 11 on the field doesn’t do the job, the play fails.”
At Mass General, we take emergency planning very seriously. Preparing for the next disaster takes much training and practice. Donors, like you, are critical to our success. Time spent training is not covered by insurance and often takes place outside work hours. Any donation towards the Mass General Emergency Response team allows Mass General to be ready when seconds count.