Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 16, 2013

Suttons Bay man on Boston bombings: 'I'll never forget today'

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Looking back, it was pretty clear that something had gone wrong; police cars and fire trucks kept going by, the volunteer staff got incredibly tense, and more and more runners came to the family welcome area looking frantic or sobbing. We got the feeling that something was going on, but we still didn't know what. Meanwhile, we still didn't know where my dad was; we got a text from an unknown number saying that he was in the medical tent, but no-one would let us go near them. When we drew near to another one, nurses and paramedics quickly and forcibly cleared all bystanders out of the way, with police officers behind them. It was around that time that we finally figured out that there had been bomb blasts. We had no idea where my dad was.

We finally found him in the waiting area, in a wheelchair and on the verge of hypothermia. A nurse had brought him there and left him so she could take care of the other victims. He'd had no idea where we were or if we were okay for more than an hour after the explosions. We all hugged and cried a little bit, we were so happy to be together. The afternoon was suddenly cold and windy, and he was shivering and barely coherent. We took off our jackets to give to him, and a woman in the crowd gave him her fleece.

Now that we were together, we had no idea how to get my dad to a hospital; the roads were closed, and the doctors on scene had bigger fish to fry. Finally, we got directions to the nearest hospital, Tufts Medical Center. It was about 20 minutes of us pushing him along in the wheelchair. When we arrived, though, so did two bomb squads, who quickly got us off the area. They thought another bomb had just gone off at the library, but it turned out to have been just an electrical fire. We finally got a hold of a friend of ours in the city, who said she would come by to get us. While we waited, an old lady saw us, and offered to help us hailing a taxi. She prayed for us while we helped my dad to stand in order to relieve the pain of sitting on a broken leg, then went to a McDonalds and bought us coffee and food.

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