5 years after Marathon bombing, first responders' bond remains strong

BOSTON -- Nearly five years after Dic Donohue was critically injured during the manhunt following the Boston Marathon bombings, the former Transit police officer opened up about his life now, his passions and his unbreakable bond with a trooper who helped save his life.

“It’s a truly unique experience that you never think you’re ever going to go through,” Donohue said. “And it happens, and you just have to do the best you can every single day.”

On Apr. 19, 2013, while responding to the Watertown neighborhood where the Tsarnaev brothers made their desperate attempt to escape, Donohue was shot. The bullet severed a major artery and nearly caused him to bleed out. His heart stopped as officers and paramedics rushed to his side – some complete strangers from various departments.

One of the men who provided first aid and helped save Donohue’s life was Massachusetts State Trooper Chris Dumont, who is also a paramedic.

Donohue and Dumont sat down with Boston 25 News before holding a presentation Wednesday at Northeastern University, where they highlighted the need for training and preparation for emergencies and the importance of blood donations.

“Dic's heart had stopped, CPR was in progress, he had lost a lot of blood, and we transported him as fast as we could to Mount Auburn Hospital,” Dumont said. “That amount of blood that Dic lost, what happened to Dic out there, I knew the importance of blood donations before, but that that scene just drove it home even more.”

At the hospital, Donohue received blood transfusions, some blood being rushed to the hospital with escorts from other locations. Within 45 minutes, his heart had been restarted and his body ready for surgery to repair the damage that had been done.

That fateful night forged a life-long bond between Donohue and Dumont.

“Having somebody… that I never would have known had we not been put in this extraordinary situation and him taking some steps that truly saved my life, it’s an incredible relationship and an incredible bond we formed back in 2013,” said Donohue.

Donohue is now working on his PhD at UMass Lowell, while also conducts police training and supports the American Red Cross in its push for blood donations.

Meanwhile, he and his wife are expecting their third son, due the third week of April.

“We're looking forward to that,” Donohue said. “Not the lack of sleep, but just again being able to celebrate April as a positive time in our life.”

The Donohues are organizing the “Stronger After 5” event at Ned Devine’s in Boston on Apr. 11. All proceeds of the event honoring victims and survivors will benefit the Sean Collier Foundation. Collier, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer shot and killed by the Boston Marathon bombers, was a close friend of Donohue.


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