At 8:15 on the night of Monday, April 15, I finally got the phone call I'd been waiting for all afternoon.
"I'm OK," my friend said. "I'm on my way home."
One of my best friends, an ED nurse at Boston Children's Hospital, had just lived through one of the most horrific shifts of her life, witnessing the carnage of the bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line as of its 10 victims were rushed into her department.
Life as an ED nurse at one of Boston's busiest and most renowned hospitals is never calm, never easy. But that day, which started out so clear and triumphant, was different. Boston hospitals were turned into a war zone, caring for wounds found on battlefields, not road races.
See Also: Boston Bombing Hurt Hospital Staff, Too
This week, May 6-12, is National Nurses Week. But as the more than 260 people who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombing will undoubtedly tell you, patients don't need a special week on the calendar to appreciate nurses.
Since that terrible day, I've heard amazing stories about nurses who tended to the wounded in the minutes and days after the bombing. As the weeks and months slip by, we'll surely hear many more. In honor of National Nurses Week, and in honor of heroic nurses everywhere, here are a few of those stories: