Good Men Project CEO Lisa Hickey was at the Boston Marathon bombings. Now she is a mile from the Watertown location where a standoff was happening. This is her story.
I have been waking up to texts, tweets, Facebook posts, emails and phone calls asking if I am ok. I am ok. An editor texted me, “Have you seen the news?” I texted back, “I am the news.”
The events of the past week have been surreal. I was at the bombing. Last night, I saw this photo. Not only can you see the bombing suspect and some of the victims, but my ex-husband, Mark, is in this photo, walking off the frame on the left. Mark was walking down Boylston Street, in search of a better location for me and our daughter to stand to see the marathon. If the photo was slightly more panoramic, you would have seen my daughter Shannon and I standing along that same railing on the right.
I had written throughout the week about how I was standing between the two bombs when they went off, the rest of my family scattered through the crowds or running the marathon. My Facebook wall post about the injures I didn’t know I had until days later went viral.
I ended up at Mass General late last night. In my recollection of the bombings, I at first thought that I fell as I was running because I was a klutz. And I assumed my leg hurt because I fell. Later, when I saw how close I was to the second blast, I thought it likely the force of the explosion had knocked me off my feet. It wasn’t until last night, when I saw my leg had a deep blue swelling the size of half a cantaloupe, along with 15 additional bruises – all precisely the size of ball bearings – only then did I realize that I had most likely been hit. And that was why I fell. I didn’t injure myself falling, I fell because I was hit by the bomb. As CNN reports “almost all injuries were to the lower extremities. The bombs were filled with shrapnel, nails, bbs and ball bearings. Think of an IED.”
And so, as a team of four armed and helmeted SWAT guards watched me go through the doors of the Mass General emergency room, I officially became injured #177.
(I’m bandaged up and fine. Back at work, tons to do, so important to keep having the conversation we’re having at The Good Men Project. Sure as heck not going to let a bomb injury slow me down.)
A second post about the kindness of strangers spread almost as far.
What I remember about being at the attacks is not the panic, and not the terror. It was the kindness and helpfulness of everyone around me. It was like “Ok, it’s a bomb, we’re in this together, let’s figure it out.” It was when I was thrown to the ground by the second explosion, and thought for sure I’d be trampled on, but instead someone stopped to help me up. It was the moment when a small group of us strangers huddled in an ATM lobby, checking on each other, sharing information, strategizing on how to get out safe. It was seeing every single victim with someone helping them just seconds after the blasts happened. It was the sharing of countless cell phones to make sure everyone found each other. It was over and over, the kindness of strangers, helping each other without fear. I would never, ever have believed it would be that way.
And now…well, it’s deja vu and groundhog day all over again. Last night, I hear a large sound and I think “Wow, I’m jumpy. Any loud noise…” It turns out the “loud noise” was most probably from the stand-off happening now with the two suspects, in Watertown, a mile from my house.
I’m texting my son and his girlfriend, who are in the locked-down towns surrounding me, saying “are you ok?”. A friend of mine on Facebook talks about how he knew the suspect. I hear sounds of helicopters, sounds of sirens, and then the eerie sound of silence.
I will be updating this post as the day unfolds. Thank you for all the words of encouragement and support, and for those who truly understand the importance of why we are having this conversation at The Good Men Project.
The news is different now. I’m on the phone, and I see Facebook updates saying “Police are running with guns drawn.” I check the news, I check Twitter.
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I’ve been following live streaming news here, while I work: http://www.myfoxboston.com/category/262392/boston-marathon