Former Patriot Matt Chatham on M&M: ‘For some reason God spared us’ from death at Marathon
|04.17.13 at 12:46 pm ET|
Former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham, who helped victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday for an emotional recounting of his experience. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Chatham and another former Patriot, Joe Andruzzi, were near the finish line to support marathoners who were running to raise money and awareness for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which aids cancer patients and their families. Chatham has estimated he was about 15 feet from the second explosion, yet he escaped relatively unscathed and was able to assist those who were seriously injured — including one woman who lost a foot in the blast.
“There’s still some people that we haven’t gotten word; I know the families probably want their privacy,” Chatham said. “But my wife and I are still laying awake at night wondering about that woman that we carried out, because she was one of the many that were really badly injured.
“There’s so many people from [the Andruzzi charity team] that were there helping. Our first instinct — the blast was in front of us — we were trying to get people off the street. Most of the carnage was right there in front of you. We were trying to get people back in the building. As I mentioned, I think there were some reports that Joe and I were helping people at the finish line; his deal was up there, we were back and more involved in the second blast.
“Our situation was there were a lot of I guess more of it being entrepreneurial, just makeshift, MacGyver-type situations. One of our friends was pouring drinks on a man that was burning, just trying to figure out ways to get him out. The woman that happened to move to the back of the alley way, I had to carry her because her foot had been blown off. She ended up at my wife’s feet. Like a nice husband and wife couple, we’re bickering about if I should be helping people in the street or if we should help people who had fallen in the restaurant. My thinking at the time was that the woman had simply tripped, and we just needed to help get her up and keep people moving. Then we turned and realized that she had had pretty traumatic injuries.
“It just speaks to sort of the chaos that’s around it. All of our sort of recollections will probably continue to meld here in the next several days and weeks. I think my account initially, I assumed she was blown into our area. But from accounts from some of the people near us were telling me that she actually crawled to that spot and needed to be carried. We’re really uncertain. It’s just that — I know it’s not war, but that fog of war kind of feel.
“Again, so many heroic things that happened that day. I’m just a tiny part of it. It really doesn’t seem right.”
Added Chatham: “If there’s anything good that came of this, I just think the volunteers that are involved in this thing are incredible people. The fact that we ended up carrying people out was just because we were there. We tend to hang out with all the kind of people that would always carry people out. I don’t know anyone that would have stepped over those people and not aided them.”
Chatham said the charity team members he’s spoken with are of the same frame of mind, that they are grateful to be alive and ready to make more of a difference going forward.
“The rest of the foundation and all the people that were there close and that for whatever reason are still here, most of our conversations have surrounded around how blessed we are and how we were out there for a good cause to begin with, and this seems like another lease on life,” he said. “It’s like we really have more good work to do. For some reason God spared us. For some reason that bomb didn’t make those few more feet back. I think we all feel like now’s the time to get to work and really make something positive out of all of this.”