BRADENTON, Fla. -
"This was going to be a great day," Katie Powers said, a nurse of 30 years at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton. Powers shared a picture with ABC Action news from the early morning hours on the day of the Boston Marathon. She’s seen wearing a big smile as she is about to begin a fourth year of volunteering as a nurse at the race.
Powers was stationed at the medical tent at the finish line, directly across the street from where the first bomb exploded. Powers said she was taking a runner’s blood pressure at the time of the blast. “I took off my stethoscope and said something is wrong with your blood pressure,” she said to the runner.
Not knowing what to make of the blast or the smoke seeping into the tent, Powers said she proceeded to examine the runner. She described the moment she knew something was terribly wrong. “I saw two bones, and then red,” she said. “I had no tears. I was all business.”
Powers recalled seeing patients with missing limbs or unable to hear.
She’s experienced as a mother-baby nurse of 30 years, she explained. Powers teaches and comforts new mothers. She said those skills kicked in when she saw a rookie nurse overcome with emotion and fearing another blast. "I grabbed her face and said. We'll be okay. We'll be fine. We're going to do what we have to do for the patients that they'll bring to us," she said.
Powers said she also prayed the Lord’s Prayer with several patients. "When I got to ‘give us our daily bread,’ I was thinking today my daily bread is my skills and my supplies. I need to have enough gauze, IVs and tourniquets and that please Lord, let me make sure I know how to use them," she said.
She treated at least six patients before authorities cleared the tent and rushed patients to nearby hospitals. "It was a horrible day, but a lot of good happened in that tent."
Powers vowed, "I'll be back next year."
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