EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 18, 2013

From smiles to shock

City women shaken, friend hit by shrapnel in marathon blast


DiBurro said Ryan tried to get in touch with Michael Skafas to tell him to stop running, but she wasn't able to make a call because cell phone service had been shut down in the area. They flagged down a car driven by a man from Lexington, who had finished the race. She said the man didn't hesitate to drive Spenard and Lewis to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Spenard said the nurses placed her on a bench in the waiting area. After using an ultrasound machine, they brought her to the X-Ray room. The images showed the shrapnel that hit her was nowhere near a vital organ.

"They brought me into the emergency room and doctors and nurses came in and said they had to check me out completely due to the situation," Spenard said. "They told me there was too much swelling to remove the shrapnel at that time, so they patched me up and said to return on Friday so they could remove the metal piece," Spenard said. "The FBI came in and asked me questions about what happened and if I'd seen anything unusual. I told them I didn't see anything suspicious or unusual."

Other victims of the bombings began arriving at the hospital.

"I was lucky I wasn't injured more severely," said Spenard, who, after returning to her home Monday night, went to a hospital in Manchester because her left arm had swelled up.

"They put my arm in a sling and gave me ice packs for a contusion," Spenard said.

"When the bomb went off, we ran inside so fast we didn't see the worst of it," DiBurro said. "I didn't realize the extent of the devastation until we saw it on the news. We're all getting together on Sunday for lunch to talk about it and, hopefully, put it behind us. We need to be together to know that we're all OK."

Spenard, who runs in shorter-distance races, including half-marathons, said she plans to return to running next week, depending on what the doctors say.

"I've been going to the Boston Marathon for 17 years," she said. "At this point I have no desire to see it again next year, although I hope that will change. What we experienced was much worse than my injury. I really thought we were being shot at."

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