Associated Files
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: David Storto
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: David Storto. Clip 4
Contributor
Storto, David (Interviewee)
Guberman, Jayne (Interviewer)
O'Brien, Joanna Shea (Recordist)
McDonough, Ryan (Contributor)
Language
English
Date created
February 03, 2014
Type of resource
Sound recording
Genre
Interviews
Oral histories (document genres)
Format
Sound Recording
Digital origin
born digital
Abstract/Description
Countless lives were affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath. The WBUR Oral History Project collects stories from individuals whose lives were immediately and irrevocably changed by these events. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of WBUR, our team of oral historians, and the participation of these interview subjects, Our Marathon has tried to ensure that these stories are not forgotten. We believe that these stories matter, and that they demonstrate the ways historical events transform the lives of the people who lived through them. Oral historians Jayne K. Guberman, Ph.D., and Joanna Shea O'Brien conducted the interviews for this project. Oral History Project Manager Kristi Girdharry, Our Marathon Project Co-Director Jim McGrath, and Community Outreach Lead Joanne DeCaro recorded the interviews and provided research assistance and post-interview processing. McGrath and Our Marathon Audio Technician Ryan McDonough provided sound editing and processing for all of the interviews and clips. The opinions and statements expressed in interviews and related content featured in the WBUR Oral History Project do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Our Marathon, WBUR, Northeastern University, or any employees or volunteers affiliated with these institutions and projects. Our Marathon and The WBUR Oral History project make no assertions about the veracity of statements made by participants in this project. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital played a critical role in the rehabilitation of many of the most seriously injured survivors of the bombings, including 15 amputees (two of whom were double amputees). They managed the opening of their new facility in the Boston Navy Yard just days after the bombings with the admission and care for dozens of patients and intense media attention, both of which continued for several months. Many of their staff were personally affected as they were runners on the Spaulding marathon charity team or were waiting near the finish line to support the team and witnessed the bombings. Our Marathon's WBUR Oral History Project sought to collect a cross-section of interviews from Spaulding staff to chronicle how the rehabilitative care of marathon bombing survivors was an integral part of the city's response to violence and mass trauma. David Storto, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and of Partners Continuing Care Network since 1998, grew up in a large Italian family in Detroit and began his career as a social worker. After attending law school, he moved into hospital management. He traces his interest in rehabilitation to experiences from his childhood: both the aftermath of his father suffering several strokes, and his own disabling experiences with recurrent rheumatic fever. In his interview, David charts the changes that occurred at Spaulding, and in the rehabilitation field generally, since his arrival in 1997. He discusses the creation of Partners Continuing Care in 2001 and its continuing evolution into one of the most highly respected rehabilitation centers in the country. Spaulding's new hospital on the site of the Boston Navy Yard, which opened just days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, was the culmination of years of planning. David recounts the long-term importance of running in his life, as well as his decision to run the Boston Marathon after a mid-life crisis when he turned fifty. He relates his initial experience as the lone runner raising funds for Spaulding in 2005, and the development of a strong core of runners on the Spaulding team over the ensuing years. David describes the start of Marathon Day 2013, as he traveled out to the starting line in Hopkinton with team members. His twenty-five year old son was running on the Spaulding team for the first time, and although they had often trained together, his son left him far behind as leg cramps caused David to slow down. He describes how he, along with thousands of other runners, was forced to stop as he approached Massachusetts Avenue, and how he learned about explosions at the finish line. In the harrowing hours that followed, David made his way to the Boston Sheraton Hotel, where he was reunited with his son and wife, as well as others from Spaulding. Later he walked with a small group to their Nashua Street facility, where they set up a temporary command center and began assisting acute care hospitals by taking on patients who could be moved to Spaulding. Later that week, Spaulding admitted four survivors to this "old" facility. At the same time, David and his staff were making agonizing decisions throughout the week about whether or not to continue with plans for a weekend of gala events celebrating the opening of Spaulding's new facility. In consultation with Mayor Menino, he decided to postpone the gala to Saturday. The event struck the "right tones," recognizing those who had been killed and injured, those who had responded, and the spirit of "Boston Strong" which animated the city. The following week, Spaulding began to move patients into its new facility. David describes a flawless move-in day, fraught with emotions for both patients and staff. Over the ensuing weeks, Spaulding admitted and cared for 32 Boston Marathon survivors. Spaulding staff provided skilled care for them, as well as emotional and psychological support for them and their families over the following months. Among the challenges staff dealt with was the onslaught of media attention, as well as the widespread interest among celebrities, sports figures, and others in visiting the survivors. Although this attention provided invaluable opportunities to educate the public about the value of rehabilitative medicine, it also posed numerous challenges for both patients and staff. At the conclusion of the interview, David notes that although he had planned for 2013 to be his last Boston Marathon, he realized that he had to run one more time. In this clip, David describes an emotional move-in day when 112 patients were transferred from Nashua Street to Spaulding's brand new facility in Charlestown the week after the bombings.
Notes
The opinions and statements expressed in interviews and related content featured in the WBUR Oral History Project do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Our Marathon, WBUR, Northeastern University, or any employees or volunteers affiliated with these institutions and projects. Our Marathon and The WBUR Oral History project make no assertions about the veracity of statements made by participants in this project.
Source note
The WBUR Oral History Project. David Storto (Oral History), Jayne Guberman (Oral Historian), Joanna Shea O'Brien (Recorder), Ryan McDonough (Sound Editing and Processing)
Related item
Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive
Subjects and keywords
Boston Marathon Bombing, Boston, Mass., 2013
Permanent URL
Use and reproduction
Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Requests for permission to publish quotations should be addressed to Our Marathon (marathon@neu.edu) and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. Commercial use of content is prohibited. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

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