I planned on finishing work around 5pm and was excited about the possibility of getting home early for a change. It was 3pm and I had just wrapped up a visit with my last clinic patient, when I received a page that I was needed in treatment planning in another building on the other side of the hospital campus. Walking across the bridge to the main hospital, I looked out towards the front of the building – saw a police cruiser, an unmarked car, two officers and several people in suits all clustered around the center median. I thought, “must be a VIP coming in.”
I hurried down the steps and along the corridor towards my department. By the time I reached the lower level of the building, my patient was already positioned on the CT scanner bed. After greeting my team and my patient, the simulation was completed in a few short minutes. Since, I wanted to leave work before 5pm, I made a special request that the images be sent to the radiation planning system right away so that I could begin working on the treatment plan. On the elevator ride to my office, something stirred within me, and the next thing I knew, I was collecting my belongings and heading to my car.
It was 3:15pm.
As I turned left onto Charlesgate, I marveled at the thousands of people running down Commonwealth Ave – thrilling!! This was my first time actually seeing a part of the Boston Marathon. Perhaps next year, I will go as a spectator! The throngs of people around Fenway made navigating Boylston Street a bit hairy, but I was making my way down to the intersection at Brookline Ave. Here’s where the traffic slowed. I figured, “must be cops directing traffic.” And sure enough, a cop was trying to direct traffic. Then an ambulance went whizzing by. It was about 3:40pm. Maybe someone fainted at the finish line.
‘Anyone who is on-site with any information, please give us a call. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the blast.’
I tried to call my husband at home. He did not pick up. The officer finally cleared me to move past the large intersection. As I traveled along the J-Way, tried calling his cell. Thought we had a brief connection, then the phone stopped working. At this point, my focus was on getting home. And when I did, JD was waiting at the door for me, looking a bit aggravated. He, too, had heard a cacophony of sirens and had been worried that perhaps I was in danger.
When he approached the car, I showed him the message on my phone. Silence.
We tuned the radio to NPR and were riveted by the reports. It wasn’t until we did a quick iPhone search and saw the devastation that the news actually started to sink in.
~ Please keep the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones in your thoughts and prayers ~