Doctor to run Boston Marathon in honor of responders, bombing victims

"I really remember the frantic look on the paramedics' faces when they came in the room ... it felt like a haze, like time sort of slowed down," Dr. Peter Smulowitz said


By Stefan Geller
Wicked Local Metro

NEEDHAM, Mass. — On April 15, 2013, Dr. Peter Smulowitz was about to head home following an eight hour shift at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston when paramedics came rushing into the emergency room from the finish line of the Boston Marathon with dozens of patients injured in the bombing.

"I really remember the frantic look on the paramedics' faces when they came in the room. Normally they were very composed but they just seemed shocked," Smulowitz said. "It felt like a haze, like time sort of slowed down. It was shocking."

Dr. Peter Smulowitz will be running in this year's marathon in honor of the victims and first responders involved in the bombing five years ago.
Dr. Peter Smulowitz will be running in this year's marathon in honor of the victims and first responders involved in the bombing five years ago. (Photo/Crowd Rise)

Smulowitz, who lives in Concord, had been working as an attending physician in the emergency department at the time, and while he had dealt with traumatic injuries before, they were often related to car and motorcycle crashes, not terrorist attacks.

"I took care of a patient that had a traumatic amputation, and I've seen traumatic amputations before but knowing that it was linked to a bombing made it feel different. The emotional aspect was riding high," he said.

A year later, Smulowitz was attending the marathon and had a stroke of inspiration while watching the runners return to the course.

"As I saw a bunch of the runners I thought, 'I need to do this. I don't want to be on the sidelines, I want to run this thing,'" he said.

Now, Smulowitz, the chairman of emergency medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham, will be running in this year's marathon in honor of the victims and first responders involved in the bombing five years ago.

"My part in this is small. The people that had to undergo such severe injuries are the real heroes. So are the people at the scene, who took care of the victims in a totally uncontrolled, chaotic environment," Smulowitz said. "Another part of me is doing this to honor the first responders and emergency care workers that take care of severely ill and injured patients every single day."

While he will be honoring the victims and first responders on a personal level, Smulowitz has also launched a fundraiser to support the new outpatient center at BID Needham.

The hospital began construction on the center back in early December. The 37,000-square-foot facility, expected to open in 2019, will be used to accommodate the hospital's growing number of outpatients in cardiology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and other medical specialties.

At the time of his interview with the Needham Times, he had raised $6,260 of his $7,500 goal.

You can donate to Smulowitz's fundraiser here.

"The more I can raise the more I can contribute to this growing hospital and the community around us," he said.

Copyright 2018 Wicked Local Metro

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