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Six MGH Nurses Running Marathon In Honor Of Those They Treated

By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Kate Merrill Kate Merrill
Kate Merrill is an Emmy award winning journalist for WBZ-TV News. She...
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BOSTON (CBS) – They helped save the lives of some of the most critically wounded on marathon Monday but they still feel like they need to do more.  So, this year a team of six ICU nurses from Massachusetts General Hospital will be running the Boston Marathon.

“I just knew I had to do it,” said Emily Erhardt.

“None of us will ever forget how we felt that day,” said Meredith Salony.

“When this opportunity came up … there was no question that I wanted to be a part of it,” said Chelsey McGinn.

All six nurses from the Blake 12 ICU say they knew they had to run this year. For five out of the six this will be their first marathon ever.

These nurses see trauma every day but the marathon was different. “You don’t usually see the type of injuries that these patients were coming in with and it was, it was kind of horrible,” explained Erhardt.

“It’s unlike anything we’ve ever had here because we’ve never had so many tragedies all at once,” said Allyson Mendonza.

They use words like “surreal” and “controlled chaos” to describe the days after the marathon bombings.   “Seeing what the families were going through it made it much more personal,” said Salony.

And to deal with all those emotions the nurses turned to running.

The six MGH nurses cared for patients in the ICU who were injured in the marathon bombings. (WBZ-TV)

The six MGH nurses cared for patients in the ICU who were injured in the marathon bombings. (WBZ-TV)

“The running has definitely been one of my outlets because I feel like I can run and all the emotions and everything … I can just kind of pound them away in a sense.” said Laura Lux.

For Erhardt it’s emotional.  “I end up crying a lot of the times on my long runs,” she said.

Erhardt and Lux’s patient inspiration is Marc Fucarile. He lost a leg in the attack and was treated at MGH for 45 days.

“I think it affected us more because it was our city,” said Lux.

Erhardt never thought she’d run a marathon but says she’s happy to run this marathon.

Two days after the marathon Mendonza helped marathon bombing survivor Karen Rand wash the blood and cement out of her hair so she would be ready to meet President Obama during his visit to MGH.

“She fell asleep as we were washing her hair and blow drying it. And she woke up said it was the most relaxed she had felt since she got here.”

A “Boston Strong” sign sent by a nearby middle school days after the attack still hangs in their hallway serving as a constant reminder of the weeks these nurses spent caring for marathon bombing survivors. Katherine Pyrek said the sign is “still touching and still gives us strength and courage to do what we do every day.”

All of the nurses are motivated to finish the race for their patients but they also want to create new marathon memories.  “I knew I had to do it so I didn’t feel like it defeated me,” said Mendonza.

“It’s just important to me that he (Fucarile) knows that he’s why I’m running,” explained Erhardt. And he does.

The Blake 12 team may be running for their patients but they will likely be healing themselves in the process.

Here are links to the Blake 12 runners’ charity pages:

Emily Erhardt

Laura Lux

Chelsey  McGinn

Allyson Mendonza

Katherine Pyrek

All MGH teams

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