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New Center Opening At BMC To Help Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Massachusetts Resiliency Center opened its doors Wednesday to anyone affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. It’s a unique place, not just in Boston, but anywhere, and it’s designed to help people heal, even as their needs change.

“Trauma isn’t just isolated to the person who was injured. It has ripple effects throughout their lives, to their families, to their spouses, to their neighbors,” says Patrick Downes who lost part of his left leg when the first bomb went off.

At the same time Sarah Valverde and her 10-year-old daughter suffered serious injuries of their own. “I can not get used to this new me. My memory is nowhere compared to what it was before. Brightness bothers my eyes. Loud noises and big crowds make me uneasy,” says Valverde.

Today, thanks to a $2-million dollar federal grant, the Massachusetts Resiliency Center opened at the Boston Medical Center, ready to deliver not only comprehensive services, but also creating a gathering place where survivors and others can find support. And it’s all free.

“I think spending time with each other is one of the most important of all the resources that we have available because we’ve found as we’ve had dinner, played golf, just spent time with each other at different events, that that’s where we find the most healing,” says Downes.

Four people were killed that week and 260 more were hurt, but hundreds of first responders, survivors’ families and witnesses also experienced trauma and many continue having physical and emotional problems. “It was clear to us early on that we needed to create a single entry point to access a wide array of services,” says Liam Lowney from the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance.

“It is our job to help those impacted to know the gift of resilience,” adds Dr. Kermit Crawford the director of the Resiliency Center.

Right now, the Resiliency Center is at the Boston Medical Center, but organizers are looking for a permanent location.

To connect with the Resilience Center:

Phone: 844-STRONG1 (844-787-6641)

Email: resiliencycenter@bmc.org

Web: http://www.mass.gov/mova/

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