BOSTON — With a bullet still in his body, the police officer who survived a showdown with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects said yesterday he’s determined to return to duty.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer Richard Donahue has been recovering alongside victims injured in the April 15 attack by the marathon’s finish line since his transfer to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston on Friday.
The 33-year-old uses crutches to get around now, and is coping with nerve damage that makes it painful to walk and difficult to sleep. But sitting alongside his wife Kim Donahue, the transit officer said he’s getting stronger and healthier every day.
Besides building strength to walk on his own, Donahue also is doing speech therapy and other exercises to prepare his mind and body to head home again. He said he’s looking forward to the end of his hospitalization so he can spend more time with his 7-month-old son, who’s gotten four new teeth in the meantime, and toss a ball around with his family’s beagle.
Donahue doesn’t recall anything about the gun battle that left him wounded on a street in suburban Watertown. His last memory from the day he almost bled to death is roll call at the start of his shift.
That was hours before Donahue responded to the call that came after authorities say bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fatally shot his police academy friend, MIT officer and Salem State University graduate Sean Collier.
It was in Watertown that Donahue suffered a severed femoral artery when a bullet pierced his groin during a gun battle with the Tsarnaev brothers.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died on the same street where Donahue was wounded. Authorities have said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drove over his brother while fleeing the scene after Tamerlan, 26, ran out of ammunition and was tackled by officers.