Associated Files
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: Dr. David Crandell
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: Dr. David Crandell. Clip 1
Contributor
Crandell, David (Interviewee)
Guberman, Jayne (Interviewer)
O'Brien, Joanna Shea (Recordist)
McDonough, Ryan (Contributor)
Language
English
Date created
February 02, 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. David Crandell practices physical and rehabilitation medicine at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and came to Boston for his medical residency. With a long-standing interest in sports going back to childhood, he did a fellowship in sports medicine as part of his training. He later served as physician for the US disabled track and field team in 1994 and 1998, and he has continued his extracurricular activities working with disabled athletes over the past twenty years. In the late 1990s, Dr. Crandell took up the sport of sled hockey, and he has been instrumental in establishing it as a competitive sport nationally and internationally. In his interview, Dr. Crandell reflects on the powerful role of such sports in helping people recovery from disability. "For someone who had a traumatic injury, " he says, "getting back on the ice is becoming whole." As Medical Director of the Amputee Rehabilitation Program at Spaulding, Dr. Crandell describes the stages of recovery for amputee patients, from immediate post-operative care to training for re-entry to the community. He discusses changes over the past twenty years in both the perception and the practice of rehabilitation medicine. He also reflects on the impact of changes in health care, as well as the economics of insurance coverage, on the length of hospital stays and patient care. One positive development, he says, resulted from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: the increasing availability of advanced prosthetic limbs for civilians as well as veterans. Dr. Crandell describes running two Boston Marathons in recent years, a decision he made as he was turning fifty. Marathon Day in 2013, however, was a regular workday for him. Learning that something had happened at the finish line while conducting a clinic in Dedham. David watched the unfolding events on television. Learning more about the nature of the bombs, he realized many survivors would be in need of his services at Spaulding. Preparations were made at Spaulding over the next several days, including an unusual level of collaboration with area trauma hospitals. The Spaulding staff realized they were facing an unprecedented situation - admitting large numbers of amputees all at once - and had to position themselves to deliver the needed care. Eight patients arrived at the "old" Nashua Street facility within days of the bombings, followed by another twenty-five at the new Charlestown facility shortly thereafter. They ranged in age from seven to seventy-one, and each required a unique treatment plan. Dr. Crandell describes the types of injuries and some of the unique issues staff confronted. Because many of the marathon survivors were standing - and were injured - standing alongside family and friends, Dr. Crandell found himself caring for a mother and daughter, two brothers, and a husband and wife. All of the marathon survivors were cared for on the fifth floor of Spaulding Rehabilitation. It was here on the fifth floor that many came to feel part of a community of survivors. Along with the positive impact that came from the outpouring of cards, letters, and gifts from strangers, many of the survivors were visited by veterans and mentors, as well as a from congresswoman, Gabrielle Gifford. Dr. Crandell discusses the process of care, including the different challenges for above and below the knee amputees. With three to five year warranties on most prosthetic limbs, he notes the daunting costs that survivors will face over a lifetime. Reflecting on the importance of attitude and goals, he notes, "Having an amputation shapes you, but it doesn't define you. How you respond is what defines outcome." His goal is to allow people to deal with the change and feel supported. For him, "Boston Strong" is doing his rounds the gym and watching people succeed: seeing patients take their first steps, watching someone dance with their parent, seeing a patient skip down the hall. In this clip, Dr. Crandell describes deciding to run a marathon again when he turned fifty and how he will run as a guide for a blind runner in the 2014 Boston Marathon.
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. David Crandell (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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