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By Erica Jackson Curran / April 14, 12:00 AM
Kim and Dic Donohue adjust to the new normal

Road to Recovery

Photo by Derek Kouyoumijian

On Marathon Monday in 2013, Richard “Dic” Donohue was just another man in uniform, working as a transit police officer for the city of Boston. One year later, he’s become a symbol of survival after being struck during a shoot-out in Watertown between police and Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“One day I was just another face in the crowd, and now I’m recognizable and approached by people frequently,” he says. “It all happened in an instant and we are dealing with it the best we can, but are continually surprised. Overall my experience has left me more thankful for everything in life, especially my family, friends and community.”

As the anniversary of the shooting approaches, Dic’s wife Kim says they have mixed feelings. “It’s both a happy and sad time for Dic and myself,” she says. “It’s the remembrance that our friend Sean [Collier] is no longer with us, but also a reminder of how thankful we are to have Dic alive and well. The whole ordeal is still truly surreal to us, but we are consistently grateful to have Dic home recovering, being with his family and able to play with his son.”

While Dic expected to be back in service within a few weeks of the shooting, he is still on the road to recovery. “Some days are more challenging than others,” Kim says. “There is nothing more Dic would love than to be able to be back at work with his Transit police family...but right now that unfortunately just isn’t an option. He physically isn’t there yet.”

Despite the constant interviews and public appearances, the Donohues try to maintain a sense of normalcy in their day-to-day lives—grocery shopping, paying bills and changing diapers. “But there is always a reminder of the shooting,” Kim says. “For Dic, it’s the physical pain. For me, it’s the memory of those first 72 hours, which I think about even when doing little things. We have accepted that life has changed and we need to move forward with that… We kind of had to accept really early on that our lives were going to change, and that we might as well take everything positive out of it that we can.”

As for Marathon Monday, the couple still hadn’t settled on plans when we spoke. “Dic and I might attend some things, but we want to be respectful to those that were directly impacted at the finish line—and Dic’s day of remembrance really is April 19,” Kim says. “We want to help commemorate in whatever way we can, while still making sure that the right people get attention: those who were actually at that finish line.”
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