by Yiqing Shao | November 26, 2013 12:30 pm
We knew Boston’s medical professionals were among the best in the world, and this year, we got a chance to see them at their absolute finest.
The smoke had not yet cleared on Boylston Street when the careful choreography began—the first responders fashioning makeshift tourniquets on the sidewalk, doctors and nurses materializing from the marathon’s recovery tents and from the race itself, running toward the carnage. Within minutes the wounded bodies were being whisked to the city’s six Level I trauma hospitals—all of them, miraculously, within two and a half miles of the blasts. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the first victims arrived a mere 18 minutes after the explosions and were on the operating table in a little more than half an hour. These feats were repeated across the city. As Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s emergency chief, Richard Wolfe, told B & W surgeon Atul Gawande in the New Yorker, “everybody spontaneously knew the dance moves.”
With its efforts, Boston’s medical community set the city on a path toward recovery—but that was just the beginning of the journey. The wounds inflicted that day were deep, the healing long and uncertain. For a city that carries the scars of the marathon, life will never be exactly the way it once was. Thankfully for the 16 victims who lost limbs in the bombings, Boston—sitting at a crossroads of academic research and medical innovation—has long been home to the most cutting-edge developments in prosthetics, an industry striving to replace the irreplaceable. Still, as many of our doctors and patients are learning, a wound is a place where, when the body breaks, we suture new bonds. In “Six Heroic Saves,” we introduce you to six enduring relationships between the ones who were broken and the doctors who are helping to make them whole again.
Our guide to 650 of the Hub’s finest physicians. Search the database by hospital, specialty, and even zip code.
For the victims of the marathon bombings, the process of healing isn’t merely physical—it’s emotional, too. And the bonds they forged with the doctors who treated them that fateful day have helped restore both mind and body.
Learn about Boston’s long history of pioneering research in prosthetics. And thanks to cutting-edge new research, local patients are ready to take the next step.
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