During the past several weeks, as we struggled through the initial days after the Boston Marathon attacks and then began the long road to recovery, we have known every moment that we are blessed with enormous support. While preparing this note of gratitude, we realized that there are simply no words adequate to express how we feel. But we will try.
Though the enormity of the tragedy that befell our beloved city took precious lives, harmed hundreds, and irrevocably changed our collective future, this reality is offset by the outpouring of kindness, generosity, and love. At a time when it would be easy to despair, we have chosen faith and hope. Each of you has played a role in that.
Our families never contemplated being called upon to help us recover from something like this. Individually and collectively they have been at our side for both the mundane and the momentous. They are a source of stability in a world turned upside down. We know that whatever the future holds, our family has become stronger and will persevere. Thank you to all of you; we love you.
At the same time that the very worst was occurring, countless acts of selfless behavior took place on Boylston Street. We have survived because of strangers who placed the health and safety of those injured above their own and the first responders who moved quickly to place us in the hands of the best hospitals in the world. Thank you to each of you; we will never forget what you did for us.
Our personal experience as patients has deepened our appreciation for those who have helped us make it to this point. The combined expertise and caring of the staffs of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Medical Center are without peer. Their strengths, recognized around the world, were equaled by their many acts of daily compassion. While dealing with the personal nature of the attack that occurred to Boston, our caretakers continued to dedicate themselves to the preservation of life. Thank you to our caregivers; you have helped heal our bodies and our hearts.
Generosity and support have flowed from people who have known us all of our lives to those whom we have yet to meet. From the overwhelming financial generosity to the countless messages of inspiration, there is evidence at every turn that we are not alone. Thank you; you have lifted our spirits.
The last several weeks have been difficult and the road ahead remains uncertain. Our physical recovery will take many months and it is hard to see beyond that at this time. We appreciate that you have respected our need to heal. Though this has been a very public tragedy, our recovery is personal and private at this time.
We can, however, share with you how happy we are to finally be together at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where compassionate, expert care continues to help us prepare for our future. Loving each other as we do, we are committed to each other's recovery and renewal.
Update: Patrick and Jessica are starting rehab together in the SAME facility!
I am sending the check from this fund to them TODAY!
Thank you from the bottom of my HEART for all the compassionate, supportive, and encouraging words... the prayers for healing and strength... and the contributions that will immediately relieve the financial impact of this tragedy for Patrick and Jess.
Each of you have made a difference by contributing, and the impact as a whole has been priceless!
Jessica and Patrick are DONE with surgeries!!! The grafts have been successful and the wounds are healing! Thank you for all those prayers!! In the next week they will go into the rehabilitation phase of their recovery!
Their families continue to walk this daily path with each of them and as a whole they have provided each other with strength, courage, and optimism.
A big part of this site, the Brown family, have traveled from California to visit the Kensky family over the Mother's Day weekend . I hope the company is uplifting and comforting for them.
I am crying tears of joy at some great news!! Jessica reunited with Patrick last night!! A huge mission was coordinated between dozens of nurses, doctors, hospital administrators, EMT's, and family. Jess was transported via ambulance to Beth Israel Hospital for a two hour visit with Patrick. Despite all the challenges involved in making this happen, everyone was fully invested and determined to make it happen for Jessica and Patrick. One of Jess's nurses came in on her day off to oversee the trip and provide medical care for Jess during operation "Date Night".
Jessica's sweet sister helped her clean up, did Jess's hair, ran out to score some mascara.... and date night was declared a GO!
The ambulance took Jessica across town to Beth Israel, where she was wheeled in her hospital bed to a room where Patrick was in his hospital bed... the beds were maneuvered around so they were side by side, rails were dropped, and finally they were able to touch each other and KISS! I can only IMAGINE what it meant to each of them to look into each others eyes, hold hands, laugh, and cry. I pray it will be the beginning of their emotional healing, and provide renewed strength to endure the rest of their separate hospitalizations. The two of them had some private time and then were joined by their families to share in the joyous moment. Their amazing wedding photographer came to document this remarkable event.
"Date Night" has lifted not only Patrick and Jessica's spirits, but those of the people who made it happen, and all of us that have been rooting and praying for this special couple!
Tomorrow is Jessica's big surgery and includes some skin grafting on her wounds. Please pray for a positive outcome and continued strength of spirit for Jess and all her loved ones.
I will start with some bright news from Jessica's weekend! I hear the nurses have been excellent and going above and beyond to keep spirits high....so on a beautiful sunny afternoon they took her down 5 floors in her hospital bed, out the doors and into some fresh air and sunshine! Jess loved it!
On Sunday another lovely but emotional event took place. Jess was visited by the HERO gentleman and his family that came to her aid immediately following the bombing. He kept her calm, stabilized her in the medical tent, rode with her in the ambulance, and was the one to notify the family in California. I can only imagine the lifetime bond that now exists!! I THANK HIM as I know we all do for his fast acting courageous response in time of crisis!!!
This week brings a big surgery on Thursday for Jessica that will last 12 hours! Let's all send prayers and positive thoughts for success in all the doctors are trying to accomplish and healing and strength for Jessica! Her spirit and determination continues!!!
I send my admiration and love to Jessica's parents and sister who have been by her side for 2 weeks straight and will be there for the duration! I pray for their strength and fortitude, and hope that they lean on their many friends who will do anything for them!!
A Note from Patrick and Jessica's parents - Katy and Herman Kensky and Deborah and Brian Downes:
In the past two weeks, we have been called to a kind of duty a parent never seeks, yet is compelled to answer. We have found the strength to endure through the examples of our children. Patrick and Jessica are simply amazing.
Many of you who have showered them and our entire family with affection, emotional sustenance and contributions have asked us for an update on their condition. As individuals, Jess and Patrick share enormous fortitude in their endurance of both multiple surgeries and amputations below the left knee. As a couple, they draw courage from the bond that has tied them together for seven years. Though recovering in different hospitals, they are in regular touch by phone and through their friends. The road to recovery stretches ahead of them; it will be an arduous one. Yet, we are confident they will manage their rehabilitation with the same spirit of optimism and determination that has guided each of them in these early days of their hospitalization.
Our children have asked us to extend their heartfelt condolences to the families of Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, Sean Collier, and to all those who suffered because of this horrible event. Just as our families have been buoyed by the goodwill of friends and strangers, we know too that this generosity of spirit and resources has been extended to others. We hope all the families hurt by this tragedy will join together in support of one another.
The Kensky and Downes families want to echo the many tributes offered to the first responders and the medical and law enforcement communities. The staffs at Boston Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have expertly and compassionately cared for our children; we cannot heap enough praise on the doctors, nurses, aides and others who work in these fine hospitals.
We have been touched by so many good people.
When we surrender to frustration, our friends from Sacramento, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and Cambridge are there to restore our equilibrium. If we worry, as parents do, about our children feeling alone in their pain, we see the multitude of their friends visiting, calling and writing. And when we worry about the months ahead, we read words of encouragement via the Internet from people we never met. We thank each of you - friends and strangers - for your support.
A word about Boston: Patrick's family comes from Massachusetts, and although Jessica's family is from Sacramento, she adopted Cambridge as her home. In the past three years, and particularly during the happy days of planning their wedding last August, the Kensky family came to love Boston, too. While this tragedy is personal, we recognize it also as an attack on the city of Boston and our country and we stand with President Obama in his characterization of Boston as a city that opens its heart to the world. Boston certainly has opened her heart to us.
And finally, the traditions of our faiths - Jewish and Christian - teach us that hardship breeds courage, which feeds a strength that leads to rebirth. We know that goodness transcends evil, that where love is, love remains. It is that love we have felt from so many of you that sustains us today, tomorrow, and in the difficult years to come.
The journey continues for Patrick and Jessica. As you can imagine there are ups and downs. Jessica has had numerous surgeries with little recoup time between. She faces each with an abundance of courage and grit! This next week she will have 3 more! (On her right foot and on a wound on her left leg above the amputation.) Patrick has started minor rehab in the hospital with getting up and moving a bit.
This week has also brought an onslaught of media requests from all major networks, newspapers, etc.
The family now has a dedicated person to field these inquires. I am sure this attention coupled with the texts, emails, and phone calls from concerned relatives and friends has overwhelmed the family who continue to hold vigil at the hospital. This special family's devotion and attitude is truly inspiring! They have kept each other strong and optimistic and faced each day united and determined!
Update on Jessica's surgery today.... It was a long surgery lasting most of the afternoon. The doctors were working on her right leg/foot that sustained damage as well as refining the amputation on her left leg. The doctors are pleased and optimistic with
Jessica and Patrick are aware of the outpouring of love and support for them from friends and strangers alike. This will help sustain them down the road. I know eventually they will read every message posted to them. Jessica has been able to watch a few facebook video messages!!
University of Arizona (Jessica's Alumni) contacted us today to send their well wishes and support. They are sending out tweets and facebook links for Alumni donations. Thank You !!!!!!
Our continued prayers for Jessica, Patrick, and their devoted families. May they all get a restful night's sleep!
I wanted to share a heartwarming update on the outreach of people for the Boston victims. A group of Marines from the Semper Fi Fund have visited Jessica, Patrick and other victims who lost limbs, to offer support and information. The group is composed of Marines who suffered amputations sustained in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marines walked the patients and their families through the stages of physical pain, to the challenges of the spirit, through rehab and beyond. They also listened and answered questions of concern from the patients and families. Amazing, and a priceless outreach!
Jessica had an up and down weekend, and has another surgery today. Continued prayers for Jessica as well as her wonderful family!
Patrick and Jessica Downes are newlyweds who were enjoying Patriot Day in Boston while viewing the Boston Marathon. As our community and Nation watched in horror these amazing young couple were in the epicenter. Both Patrick and Jessica have suffered major injuries and have a long road to recovery ahead of them. Jessica had another surgery this morning.
The two of them were taken to different hospitals, and because of the extent of their injuries can not be together. Please pray for these families (Kensky/Downes) and help with a donation if possible.
Thank you, and I will write updates on their progress!
An Account at Wells Fargo has also been set up if anyone prefers to go directly to the bank. Donations will be accepted nationwide Patrick and Jessica Downes Recovery Fund.
As a nurse and runner, I was compelled to help in any way possible. My husband and I were married this past August, and in lieu of favors and flower centerpieces, we told guests we would be donating to this beautiful couple as they also celebrate their one year anniversary of marriage. You both are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Casey and Theresa Duggan