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BWH's Robert Riviello (at left) and Eric Goralnick. Photo courtesy of Boston Herald.
Running 26.2 miles is a daunting task. But for at least four BWHers who played critical roles in the hospital's response to last year's Boston Marathon bombings, it's a way to pay tribute to those who were injured and express gratitude for those who responded with bravery.
As a physician assistant in the Emergency Department (ED), MacKenzie Bohlen, PA-C, has seen a significant amount of trauma during her career, but no single event has affected her more than the April 15, 2013, bombings.
Bohlen, who was working in the ED on the day of last year's Marathon, was confronted by the severity of the bombings and the fear they had instilled in people, who "only moments before were reveling in the feeling of hope that a marathon finish line embodies," she said. "Marathon Monday will be forever changed for me, as I know every year I will think back to those individuals I cared for and how their lives were shattered."
The same can be said for her colleague, Kelli O'Laughlin, MD, MPH, a physician in the ED, who took care of four injured patients after the bombings. She hasn't competed in a marathon since 1999, but she said now is the time to participate in her city's Marathon and show the world that Boston isn't afraid to lace up its shoes and run again. Both Bohlen and O'Laughlin earned their chance to run by winning a Boston Athletic Association essay contest.
BWHers Robert Riviello, MD, of Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care, and Eric Goralnick, MD, medical director of Emergency Preparedness, are running this year with the Brigham and Women's Hospital Marathon Team. Team members are working together to raise funds to support life-giving breakthroughs that will make a difference for current patients and generations to come. They know firsthand how vital a role these breakthroughs are in providing the best possible care to patients.
Last year, both Riviello and Goralnick played crucial roles in the hospital's initial response and ongoing care of bombing victims. They said their patients, who have shown a great deal of courage and tenacity through all of their ups and downs, have inspired them. "This is about healing for our community," Goralnick said. "It's about healing for our hospital and colleagues. We are excited to run for Boston."
Riviello echoed Goralnick's sentiments and said it's wonderful to be participating in the Marathon with such a great group of people. "We each have our own stories coming into it," he said. "We are proud of our city and our community, and we're proud to contribute and support our team at BWH."
The four responders are also running in honor of their fellow BWHers, who provided support and care to patients and families who were impacted by last year's events.
"I felt proud to have been part of a team of providers that could quickly come together to give great care to so many injured and scared patients," Bohlen said. "I am proud to work with my team and to know we helped to alleviate a bit of the pain of that day."
Learn more about BWH's Marathon team.