Originally published in the Union College Magazine, Fall 2013
Lauren Vulcano ’11 and her boyfriend, Mark Snickenberger, were there April 15 when the Boston Marathon was bombed.
“We were on Boylston Street, four feet from the first bomb that exploded at the finish line,” Vulcano said. “Suddenly, I was in a world filled with smoke smelling of burning flesh. It was so thick I couldn’t see my feet.”
Despite the fact that Snickenberger was bleeding profusely from one leg and she couldn’t hear, they helped each other to an AT&T store. First responders then took them to Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain.
“A BB was removed from my ear, I had substantial hearing loss in both ears,” Vulcano said. “I had over 83 BB wounds and gave the FBI three BBs that lodged in my jeans. I gave them all my clothes, which were covered in remains of the bomb backpack, explosive powder and melted plastic.”
Snickenberger received stitches and has recovered. Vulcano underwent tympanoplasty to repair one of her eardrums. Hearing in her left ear is fully restored, and she’s confident her right will heal completely in time.
“My Tri Delta sisters and field hockey and lacrosse teammates have been really supportive,” she said. “Union is a close-knit community, I’ve received an abundance of love from our school.”
Vulcano is earning an M.A./C.A.G.S. from Assumption College. She now intends to pursue a counseling career with the FBI.
“There is so much more goodness in the world than evil,” she said. “The FBI was great, some agents even texted and called weeks later to check on me. Being part of such an extraordinary bureau, which did so much for me and for countless others, would be a dream come true.”