During a golf outing a few weeks ago, Patrick Downes began chatting with a friend about what it might be like as an amputee to raise a child. Downes, who lost part of his left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings, pictured waking in the middle of the night to comfort a crying son or daughter from a wheelchair, or watching the child scurry into the street faster than a prosthetic would allow a father to run.
He found comfort in broaching the subject with a fellow bombing victim.
“We talk about these rich things, but we’re just goofing around on a golf course,” Downes said in an interview. “I want to make it very real for people, so that they can have the opportunity to get together and really heal as a group.”
If all goes according to plan, they will soon have such a place. Beginning in August, victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will be able to find mental health, behavioral, and psychological services inside a centralized location at Boston Medical Center, state and federal officials announced Tuesday.
Backed by $1.9 million in federal grants, the Massachusetts Resiliency Center will serve as a gathering place where bombing survivors can seek assistance and care, and meet in a central location, free of charge. Victims spanning more than 30 states and five countries will have the chance to receive electronic consultations aimed at finding services and providers in their communities.