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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Combat wounded inspire Boston Marathon amputee

Wounded Warriors Inspire Boston Marathon Amputee
American Forces Press Service
By Terri Moon Cronk

BETHESDA, Md., June 12, 2013 – Wounded warrior amputees at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center here got a chance today to share the wisdom and experience they’ve gained through tough rehabilitation and prosthetic fittings with a man who lost a leg during the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings.

J.P. Norden and his brother, Paul, were cheering on a friend at the finish line of the marathon when they were injured in the second bomb blast. Each brother lost a leg.

The brothers’ surgeon -- Dr. E.J. Caterson, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston -- recently accepted an invitation from Walter Reed officials to visit and learn about the latest medical and surgical advances in similar blast injuries seen in wounded warriors.

“This is an incredible place,” Caterson said of the Military Advanced Training Center -- essentially, a rehabilitation center and gym.

Caterson brought other hospital staff members and J.P. Norden to learn about blast injury amputations and prosthetics from the wounded warriors and their doctors. Paul Norden also was scheduled to attend, but was unable to do so for medical reasons, his brother said. “I wanted J.P. to see his peers around him who have gone through the same thing as he did, and I want him to see the incredible energy this place has, the incredible expertise and the motivation to say, ‘Let’s get better,’” Caterson said.

“Walter Reed has the most experience with amputees,” he added. “[The doctors] shared with us their expertise, because there are some difficult decisions we’re making” in fitting patients with prosthetics and providing rehabilitation programs.
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