From the BostonChannel.com
BOSTON -- It was a chemical explosion that rocked Newton.
Seventeen years ago this week, 10 firefighters were left badly injured in the 1993 explosion of the H. C. Starck company in Newton.
Newton fire Lt. Ray McNamara was hurt the worst. Burned on 90 percent of his body and blinded, he was close to death.
"I remember them just loading me in," said McNamara. "And I went out of it for like seven or eight months after that."
No one thought he would make it. A priest even came in and gave him his last rites. But eight months later, there was a medical miracle. McNamara woke up from his coma. But that was just the start of his recovery, which would ultimately include more than 40 operations.
"You know, when I was in the hospital, I just wanted to end it," said McNamara. "If someone wanted to give me a pill to overdose, I probably would have done it. But she’s the one. She's just been my rock."
She is Ray's wife of 19 years, Denise. Together, they've been able to courageously rebuild their lives, with the help of McNamara's fellow men in uniform.
"You know, I didn't think anybody liked me on the job sometimes," McNamara said with a laugh, "and they've been great."
Every month McNamara and his fellow firefighters get together for a meal and some laughs. He updates them on life post-accident, which includes sky-diving and annually running the seven-mile Falmouth Road Race.
"Except for the vision, I almost do everything I used to do," said McNamara.
A few years ago, an experimental eye procedure at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary helped McNamara regain his sight for about six months. Since then, he hasn’t given up hope that he’ll see again. An avid Red Sox fan, McNamara is most looking forward to seeing his team on television in high-definition for the first time.
McNamara doesn't consider himself a hero, but instead, just a man who loved his job and who now truly understands what it means to be alive.
"If you hang in there, just hang in there, most of the time," said McNamara, "ninety-nine percent of the time, almost all the time, things get better."
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10-28-2010, 05:42 PM #1
Ray Mac.. a true hero and inspiration
Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 10-28-2010 at 05:47 PM."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
10-29-2010, 02:39 AM #2
I hope he gets his sight back someday. What an inspiration.
10-29-2010, 09:07 AM #3
10-29-2010, 09:22 AM #4
Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
- Join Date
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- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
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I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
10-29-2010, 01:28 PM #5
10-29-2010, 03:14 PM #6
I remember when he was always going to MGH and whoever took him would park at E4 & L24. I couldn't begin to describe the thoughts that would go through my mind. A true inspiration to all of us with his courage and fortitude. Best wishes
Thanks Gonzo for posting this, I must of missed this story. Too busy reading about "Thousand Buck Chuck" and the "Preacher's Handshake"!
10-30-2010, 12:31 AM #7
I wonder, would an eye transplant do it or was there some damage to all the nerves and linkage and stuff in the back of the eye to make that not an option??
My wife is a critical care nurse at one of the local hospitals here and sometimes she assists with organ harvest of a donor. They take donated eyes and eye parts (cornea, lens, fluid, etc.) all the time.
Just wondering....I'm the doctors have explored all their options and little ole me ain't telling them something they don't already know.
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