Associated Files
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: Dr. Leslie Morse
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: Dr. Leslie Morse. Clip 2
Contributor
Morse, Leslie (Interviewee)
Guberman, Jayne (Interviewer)
O'Brien, Joanna Shea (Recordist)
McDonough, Ryan (Contributor)
Language
English
Date created
April 08, 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. Dr. Leslie Morse grew up in mid-coast Maine, the daughter of a lobsterman. Trained in osteopathic medicine, which emphasizes preventative medicine, Dr. Morse focuses on interventions to prevent bone loss for spinal cord injury in both her clinical practice and her research. At Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, she directs the SCI Model System, dedicated to improving the lives of people with physical disabilities. During the Boston Marathon 2013, Dr. Morse was working for the second year as part of the medical committee overseeing the event for wheelchair athletes. In her interview, she describes the volunteer medical briefing at 7:45 am at the John Hancock building, followed by the wait for the first athletes to arrive in the medical tent. Assigned to the first pod just inside the tent opening, she describes working with her podmate, Mitch, to hang a bag of saline solution for an athlete when they heard the first explosion. When the second bomb went off, she instinctively knew something bad was happening. Dr. Morse relates how the "MC" directed medical personnel to move people to the back of the tent after the explosions to make room for expected casualties. Within moments, Dr. Morse and her podmate were tending to the first bombing victim, looking shocked but not badly injured, who was brought into the medical tent by wheelchair. As more seriously injured survivors arrived, she describes the MC's soothing reminders to the assembled doctors that they knew what to do and how to help. Moments later, Dr. Morse responded to a call for all doctors to go to the finish line. She recalls running towards and arriving at the blast site, as spectators streamed away in panic. She vividly remembers the chaos and the scene of horror, strewn with blood and body parts, as people tended to the injured. She joined with others trying to stop the bleeding of the severely wounded and administering CPR, as well as getting the victims onto stretchers and into ambulances. After the blast site was cleared, Dr. Morse, along with her husband, joined a group of doctors headed for Boston Common to care for runners who ended up there. Throughout the interview, Dr. Morse describes the intense emotional and psychological impact of the bombings, from the early days when the events played a continuous loop in her mind to her feelings, a year later, of having confronted pure evil. "I feel like I stood witness," she said, "to a horrible act of cruelty." Noting that, as a doctor, her entire career is about trying to do good, she feels that she will carry the scar forever of seeing firsthand the results of this deliberate attempt to inflict devastating harm on fellow human beings. In this clip, Dr. Morse describes the call for all physicians working within the medical tent to go to the finish line and the scene that follows.
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. Dr. Leslie Morse (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.

Downloads

Audio File Master Image