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In This Issue:
BWH Bulletin's year-end issue is a time to reflect on BWHers' proudest moments from the past year. We asked you to share one BWH-related memory from 2013 that was meaningful to you, and you generously offered stories about colleagues, patients, families, events and milestones that continue to inspire you. We hope you enjoy reading these moments.
While it's nearly impossible to choose just one "shining
moment" from such an eventful year, I have been deeply touched by the courage
of one particular patient and the special kind of care and healing that is made
possible by our teams at BWH.
Heather Abbott was waiting in line at the Forum restaurant
on Boylston Street on April 15 when the second Marathon bomb went off. Her life
was instantly changed forever.
She was rushed to our Emergency Department, where
multidisciplinary teams quickly and seamlessly provided the best possible care.
One week later, the 38-year-old courageously made the decision to have her leg
amputated below the knee. She believed her chances for getting back to an
active life were higher with a prosthetic limb than by keeping a nonfunctioning
From the start, Heather accepted her situation with grace
and optimism, choosing to focus solely on recovery and healing. I have followed
from afar since Heather left BWH; she continues to make great strides in life,
from taking up paddle boarding to speaking with amputees about living with a
Heather is a shining example of the strength and resilience
of the human spirit, and the ability to set one's mind to overcome incredible
physical and emotional hurdles. She chose to make her story one of strength and
triumph, not tragedy. I have found great inspiration in Heather, in her fellow bombing
survivors and in all of our patients who fight to regain their strength each
I am also deeply inspired by, and immensely proud of, the
multidisciplinary teams who cared for Heather. Our remarkable care teams did
everything possible to provide the best care for Heather and our other Marathon
survivors. Support staff throughout the hospital performed essential roles that
touched the lives of Heather and our other patients, directly and indirectly.
As I look back on the Marathon tragedy as a whole, I strive
to emulate Heather and focus on the good - those shining acts of courage,
determination and humanity that unfolded here at the hospital and throughout
Betsy Nabel, MDPresident, BWH