April 18, 2013

Metal pierced leg, but Falmouth woman feels 'lucky'

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Northeastern University student Sarah Girouard, a 2010 graduate of Falmouth High School, was treated at Tufts Medical Center after being injured by the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Girouard's right leg was injured by shrapnel, but she is expected to recover in a few months.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Girourd

Police officers visited Girouard in the hospital later to ask if she saw anything. She didn't.

"Everyone is cheering on the runners and there are so many people," she said. "The only thing I remember seeing before was this little girl on her dad's shoulders wearing a bright pink shirt."

Girouard's mother, Sue, first heard about the bombings from a close friend who texted her: "I hope Sarah's not at the marathon."

"I pulled over and said, 'Why?' She said there were two explosions," Sue Girouard, 52, said Thursday. "So I flew home and immediately tried to call her and couldn't get through. That freaked me out because she has her phone attached to her, like most kids do. Then I tried reaching my husband and couldn't reach him, so, of course the worst thoughts fill your head.

"Then her older sister, Lauren (who is 23 and lives in Portland), called and said, 'I've heard from Sarah, she's fine. She's going to the hospital but she wants you there.'"

The parents headed south on Interstate 95 within minutes, staying until Wednesday, when Girouard was discharged.

Girouard said the whole ordeal still hasn't sunk in fully.

"I kind of felt like I was in a movie. The whole smoke and dust and pieces of clothing falling that were on fire, and the white noise," she said. "I couldn't really hear anything but I knew people were screaming. It was strange. I was more confused."

Girouard is expected to recover from her injuries. She had been registered to participate in the American Lung Association's Trek Across Maine in June with her sister, but will have to wait until next year. She had been interning as a Geographical Information Systems analyst assistant at Boston City Hall, but likely won't be able to return to that job for at least a month.

As for next year's Boston Marathon, she said she wouldn't hesitate to attend again.

"I was watching the interfaith event with President Obama and it just amazed me at how united and strong Boston is," she said. "It's just a really cool city to be a part of.

"I wouldn't want it to deter me from watching again. I mean, I might choose a different location, but I don't know if I'd want to miss out."

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

erussell@pressherald.com

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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