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April 19, 2013

Rockport woman termed Marathon 'hero'

Rockport woman's marathon medical response

Caroline Jouhourian, resident physician at Tufts University Medical Center, had just finished working a 12-hour shift at an intensive care unit in Brockton before heading to her South Boston home on Monday.

From there, on her day off, she set off immediately to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday and meet up with friends and athletes during the Boston Marathon, an event she attends as regularly as possible.

A competitive runner herself, Dr. Jouhourian, who grew up in Rockport and is a 2001 graduate of Rockport High School, was down Boylston Street watching the race with friends, when two blasts shattered the scene near the race’s finish line.

”I saw the second one go off, and it was just mayhem from there,” she said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Amid the chaos, she first asked police if she could help on the scene, but instead, soon ran back to work at Tufts, roughly 11/2 miles away.

”The diversity of injuries ranged from perforated eardrums to fractures and second-degree burns,” she said.

From there, things did not get better.

”The next thing I know, there’s a code black.”

That meant a bomb threat had been called in as Jouhourian was arriving. And while it proved to be false, all of the patients had to be taken from the emergency room to the atrium due to the bomb scare, she said.

Jouhourian said she did not perform any procedures herself as patients went directly to the operation room, but she stayed on the job for several hours, helping to prepare patients for surgery and treatment while Tufts had about six operating rooms running at once.

”She doesn’t think of herself as a hero, but many people do,” Jouhourian’s friend and 1997 Rockport High graduate Lindsay Lowell said Thursday. The two had been in touch that morning, and Lowell told Jouhourian she could not get the day off work because she had taken a day off last week to catch the Red Sox home opener.

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