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Too close to tragedy
Veterinarians who raced in Boston Marathon ask "what if?"


Instead they opted to rejoin him in the family meeting area, and they lingered to enjoy the day before returning to the hotel. "We left a few minutes before the bombs went off," he says.

Dale Ottosen, DVM, of Auburn, N.Y., had just made it into the finishing chute, conquering his third Boston Marathon. "I had a horrible race and finished an hour slower than I expected," Ottosen says. He was approximately 150 feet away when the first bomb detonated.

"I was standing there feeling sorry for myself and then there were people bleeding and dying on the sidewalk," Ottosen says. "Suddenly a silly foot race doesn't matter."

Dr. Ward Conover, shown here with his family, finished the marathon and left the area before the bombs went off. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. WARD CONOVER)
It was a scene of panic and tension as family and friends tried to find each other. It took Ottosen 45 minutes to find his increasingly worried family. They finally reunited in the family meeting area, everyone unhurt.

In the meantime, Sill was still searching for her husband. "I got my phone and got my gear, turned my phone on and saw that he had tried to call," she says. She clung to one thought: Everything must be OK.

Before long, no one could make or receive cell phone calls. "It was getting later and later," Sill says. She had no idea where Brad was or how to find him—or if he was hurt. "I was starting to get really nervous."

Dr. Dave Stevenson before the start of the race. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. DAVE STEVENSON)
Sill isn't sure how much time she spent searching, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, overcome with helplessness and exhaustion, she collapsed to the ground. She lay under a sign in the family meeting area, powerless to cope with the horrifying reality around her.

And that's where he found her. "I felt him grab me and pull me off the ground," she says.

Brad had seen the bomb go off right before his eyes. "He had just been there," Sill says, still choking back emotion. "Just minutes before, he moved to the other side of the street." Brad saw a woman he now believes to be Krystle Campbell thrown into the air by the blast.

He ran from the scene in search of his wife. They hadn't named a place to meet after the race. As he fought his way through the crowd, he was glad the wall of people shielded him from the sight of carnage from the blast. He tried to call his wife. No answer.

He found a volunteer who took him to a computer to verify that she had in fact made it through the finishing chute. Cell phones were useless. Since they had no predetermined meeting spot, the volunteer told Brad to go to the family meeting area.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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