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

Today’s episode brings us back home - to Home Base, and to Boston. Dr. Patrick Downes is a psychologist at Home Base and a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Speaking with Patrick, 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 2012, and planned to pursue a career as a youth psychologist. Nine years ago this week, on April 15th, 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 his wife became amputees, receiving care across Boston at Beth Israel, Boston Medical Hospital, and Spaulding Rehab. 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 veterans that he really didn’t expect, and that would change his life for the better. Today, he 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.


If you are your loved one is experiencing any emotional, mental health struggles, you are not alone and please contact Home Base at (617) 724-5202, or visit www.homebase.org  

Theme music for Home Base Nation: "Rolling the tree" by The Butler Frogs

Additional music credits include: 
Piano music written by Lucy Little and performed by Cheryl Freeze
"Cadillac" by Ron Hirschberg
"Fish Ladder" by Ron Hirschberg

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The Home Base Nation Team is Steve Monaco, Maureen Roderick, Laurie Gallagher, Karianne Kraus, Lucy Little, Taylor Orlando, with COO Michael Allard, Brigadier General Jack Hammond, and Peter Smyth

Producer and Host: Dr. Ron Hirschberg
Producer, Sound, Editor: Lucy Little
Chairman, Home Base Media Lab: Peter Smyth

Home Base Nation is the official podcast of Home Base Program for Veterans and Military Families, a partnership of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation. To learn more and connect with us at Home Base Nation: www.homebase.org/homebasenation. To Donate to Home Base where every dollar goes to the care of veterans and military families that is cost to them, go to: www.homebase.org/donate.

The views expressed by guests to the Home Base Nation podcast are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by guests are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation or any of its officials.