When Jacqui Webb and her fiance, Paul Norden, went to watch the Boston Marathon back in 2013, they had no idea their lives were about to change forever.
Domestic terrorists detonated a bomb, killing three people and injuring over 200 more. Paul and Jacqui were both critically wounded and were rushed to Tufts Medical Center.
Paul lost his right leg, while Jacqui suffered second- and third-degree burns and had embedded shrapnel all over her body. She stayed at Tufts for three weeks to recover, where she met a compassionate nurse named Nichole Casper.
Nichole was struck by how kind and polite Jacqui and the other bombing survivors were considering what they’d been through. “Jacqui was always very gracious and very appreciative of all the care,” Nichole recalled.
As for Jacqui, she said she was impressed with the way the hospital staff cared for her. She and Paul planned to start a family someday, and she decided on the spot that if she ever had a baby, it would be at Tufts.
“They went above and beyond, and I was just so grateful,” Jacqui said. “I remember thinking, ‘If I ever have a baby, I’m going to deliver here.'”
It took many years for Paul and Jacqui to recover enough to pick up their lives where they left off. They eventually tied the knot, and last year, Jacqui got pregnant with their first child.
Because of her past trauma, Jacqui opted for a planned C-section. But on August 21, 2021, their baby had other plans!
Jacqui went into labor naturally and returned to Tufts to have her baby. When Nichole saw Jacqui’s name on the list of patients, she jumped at the chance to care for her!
“I assigned myself to Jacqui,” the nurse admitted. “I wanted to be there for her again.”
Ella James Webb Norden was born surrounded by love in what her parents described as a “full-circle moment.” When Jacqui and Ella returned to their hospital room, it was Nichole’s comforting face that greeted them.
“There was such a sigh of relief,” Jacqui said. “Having Nichole again and having her understand my past, it was extremely comforting, because that was a really traumatic time [post-bombing].”
Jacqui was excited to share a much nicer moment in her life with Nichole, and Nichole felt the same way. She has now seen Jacqui at her lowest point and at her highest one.
Her patient was grateful for the chance to express how much Nichole’s compassionate care meant to her all those years ago.
“It was a horrifying time, it was one of the worst times in my nursing career seeing those people that injured,” Nichole said. “To be able to see her have a brand-new baby and see her with Paul, it made me extremely happy. You know, it was just something that I’ll probably never experience again in my career.”
Nothing will take away the pain of that awful experience, but stories like this one add a beautiful silver lining to a difficult chapter of history.
Share this story to congratulate Jacqui and Paul on their new baby and to wish them the best for the future.
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