Doctor: ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ on Injured MBTA Officer’s Recovery

Dr. David Miller, an intensive care physician at Mount Auburn Hospital, and Edward Donohue, brother of injured MBTA officer and Winchester native Richard Donohue Jr., speaks during a press conference Sunday afternoon at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.

During a press conference Sunday afternoon at Mount Auburn Hospital, Dr. David Miller said he was “cautiously optimistic” about Winchester native and MBTA Officer Richard Donohue Jr.’s recovery after he was wounded during a shoot-out with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects on Thursday night.

Following the conference, Dr. Russell Nauta, professor of surgery at Mount Auburn Hospital, explained what happened to Donohue Jr.

“He was shot through the anterior thigh and there was an entrance wound and no exit wound so the bullet remains in the leg,” Nauta said, adding that there were no fractures and partial transection of three out of the four blood vessels that are in the leg. “There was bleeding from the wound that led to cardiac arrest at the scene.”

Nauta said cariopulmonary resuscitation was started on Donohue Jr. at the scene and continued in the emergency room, where there was a “tranfusion of fluids and blood products to the point of restoration of the pulse and pressure at which point he went into the operating room.”

Donohue Taken to Operating Room 

“We made an incision in the lower abdomen to clamp the artery to the leg (because) you could not clamp it through the wound and you could not see anything through the wound,” Nauta said. “We stopped the bleeding and we called in our cariovascular folks to reconstruct the blood vessels to and from the leg.”

From the time of the shooting to the time he was in the operating room, less than an hour had passed, with about 15 minutes for transport and 45 minutes spent in the emergency room, according to Nauta.

Nauta, who also serves as chairman for the Department of Surgery at the hospital, said the bullet remains in the leg. During the conference, Nauta said Donohue Jr. had not spoken, as there is a breathing tube inserted in his mouth. 

Donohue Jr., 33, of Woburn, is currently “medically sedated” to maximize subsequent organ function, Nata said.

“He is sedated and gets special treatment on the respirator to maximize the chance his central nervous system and his circulation will be fine,” Nauta said.

If Donohue Jr. shows improvement, Nauta said he expects the officer to be able to walk again.

Hospital Staff Ready for Anything

After the conference, Jeanette Clough, president and CEO at the hospital, praised the work done by first responders, nursing staff and physicians the night of the shootings in Cambridge and Watertown. She said that her staff trains for situations similar to what happened the past couple days.

“Those are two of our closes communities and to have this going on in your backyard was really very frightening for them,” she said. 

Clough said she has never seen anything like what happened “so close to home” like what happened in Cambridge and Watertown. 

“We have had a lot of criminal activity over the years, but nothing like this,” she said. 

Hero Among Us

MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan said Donohue Jr. was out of his vehicle at the time he was shot by one of the suspects. He was engaged in the shoot-out with the suspects when he was struck, the police chief added.

The police chief said Donohue Jr. had assisted other police agencies in the past, including a stabbing in December in a nearby community.

“He grabbed the passenger by the sweatshirt and stopped the bleeding, ultimately saving the life” of the victim,” MacMillan said.

Meanwhile, Edward Donohue, a Winchester Police officer and younger brother of Richard, talked about his brother’s perception on serving as a police officer.

“He’s a great cop and he loves being a cop,” Donohue said, adding that Richard recently said how much he loves the job. “…We certainly could not be more proud (of him).”

Donohue Jr., who ran a road race and lost for the first time to Edward, is a 1998 Winchester High School graduate and is married with a son that is several months old. He graduated from Viriginia Military Institute in 2002 and prior to joining the MBTA he served in the Navy, according to Edward. 

Boston Fundraiser

There will be a fundraiser at 8 p.m. Sunday at The Green Dragon to support the victims of the shootings this week.

Roland LeFox Nicol, a musician and artist who is putting on the event, will be raffling off an officer painting during the show.

“Let’s come together and help raise money for the victims from all this tragedy this week,” reads the event’s Facebook page. “We’re also going to do a hell of a job lifting spirits and putting smiles on faces, probably some hugging too.”

South End Patch