Home Base

Home Base Strong: The Journey of Dr. Patrick Downes Before and After the Boston Marathon Bombing

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This episode of Home Base Nation, Season 4 Episode 4, brought us back home — to Home Base and to Boston.

Our host, Dr. Ron Hirschberg, sat with Dr. Patrick Downes (pictured below), a psychologist at Home Base and a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Speaking with him, you immediately can see that this is someone who embodies the essence of someone who serves those who serve.

A Cambridge, MA native and Boston College alumnus, Patrick started his psychology training in 2009, and planned to pursue a career as a child and adolescent psychologist. Nine years ago this week, on April 15, 2013, Patrick and his wife, Jessica, were standing near the finish line, cheering on the marathon runners as they crossed, when their lives changed forever.

Even with all his previous work and training, Patrick says that it was that day that truly taught him the meaning of trauma. Both he and Jessica became amputees, receiving care across Boston at Beth Israel Deaconess, Boston Medical Center, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. They had the opportunity that not a lot of civilians get to continue with their rehabilitation at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and he tells us that there was something about healing alongside this community of Service Members and Veterans that he really didn’t expect, and that would change his life for the better.


Today, Patrick serves Veterans with us at Home Base, bringing a combination of his lifelong commitment to service, his personal experiences and lived trauma, and his academic and medical knowledge to those who need help. For these reasons and so many more, we’re excited to bring you this conversation in the week leading up to the 2022 Boston Marathon.

This episode is dedicated to all of the families impacted by the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013.

~ The Home Base Nation Team



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