Monday, April 21, 2014

Boston Strong Survivor with PTSD Gained Strength From Soldiers

Soldiers Inspire Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor to Run Again
People Magazine
"Army Lt. Col. Brett Sylvia not only helped counsel Clark, but also oversaw the soldiers who reached out to her. Sylvia says he and his men understood what the 37-year-old mother of two was going through and what she needed to hear."

When the Boston Marathon starting gun goes off Monday, runner Demi Clark will have a group of soldiers to thank as she heads out over the 26-mile course.

Clark says she struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after becoming the final runner to cross the finish line while bombs exploded and debris rained down around her during the 2013 race.

"So many people around me were hit with shrapnel," recalls Clark, whose left eardrum was blown out by the blast.

"I had such massive guilt that I walked away uninjured."

Within months of the blast, the guilt and memories of the victims, the blood and severed limbs she'd seen, took its toll on her. She began seeing a therapist, who diagnosed her with PTSD.

"I wasn't sleeping, and I was anxious whenever I went into public spaces," she recalls. "I just wanted to close the drapes and become a hermit."
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