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Last week, BWH Bulletin shared a few of many stories of BWHers’ heroic response efforts to the Marathon Monday tragedy.
This week, we continue to share stories of acts of kindness and humanity that have unfolded across the institution.
Director of Interpreter Services Yilu Ma was called upon to translate readings from English to Chinese for a Boston University memorial service for student Lu Lingzi, one of the three deceased Marathon victims, and for a scholarship being set up in her name. Ma also translated her father’s eulogy into English for the service and condolences from Governor Deval Patrick and other state leaders into Chinese.
“I felt it was the right thing to do for a family that lost its only daughter, who was so far away from home, pursuing her dreams in America,” Ma said. “That’s the least I could do to bring some solace to the survivors. It was an honor.”
BWH staff nurse Stephanie Zanotti, RN, has responded by committing herself to completing 26 acts of kindness—one for each mile of the Boston Marathon—for the victims at the 26th mile. She is encouraging others to join her.
“The tragedy has made me ask myself what I can do to help,” said Zanotti. “Completing small acts of kindness, such as paying for a stranger’s cup of coffee or donating a pair of running sneakers, has helped me think about how I can make someone else’s day a little brighter.” A group of 30 physicians from BWH Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Anesthesia and the PACU performed four complex surgeries five days after the Marathon in a true team effort.
“So many employees came together to do what was best for patients on a day when they were scheduled to be off,” said surgeon Matt Carty, MD, part of the reconstructive surgery team. “This was especially important because the priority for reconstructive surgery for these types of injuries is four to five days after injury.”
In the past two weeks, distinguished guests, including First Lady Michelle Obama, have come to BWH to meet with employees and patients as the city and our community continue to heal. Berklee College of Music students treated passersby to an impromptu concert in front of BWH’s Emergency Department last week, and BWHers have begun wearing “BWH Strong” buttons to honor victims and each other.
You are welcome to share your stories, photos or messages of support at BWHPikeNotes.org. Please remember that BWH offers resources for coping with the tragedy. Contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 617-726-6976, or visit eap.partners.org.