Mikayla O’Brien is running Boston for BMC

"May 23, 1999 is a date my family and I will remember for the rest of our lives."


In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 15, 2019.

Name: Mikayla O’Brien
Age: 24
From: East Bridgewater, Mass.
Bib #: 27494

Twenty years ago, Boston Medical Center saved my dad’s life. For this reason, I will be joining Team BMC and running the 2019 Boston Marathon.

May 23, 1999 is a date my family and I will remember for the rest of our lives. As a police officer for the town of East Bridgewater, my dad was clearing the scene of an accident that night and was heading back to his cruiser when he was struck by a car. My dad had hit the windshield, bounced off the hood, and was thrown to the side of the road. He was the victim of a hit-and-run, and the driver was never found. Due to the severity of my dad’s injuries he was taken to BMC.


The accident caused every bone in my dad’s face to break, a fractured skull, and loss of cerebral spinal fluid. He had to get an emergency tracheotomy. Surgeons had remade his eye sockets, built him a new forehead, and used 50-plus titanium plates and screws to put his face back together. He had his teeth sewn into place after he had snapped his pallet and had his mouth wired shut to allow time to heel. He tore his meniscus, ACL, MCL, and PCL, which required seven surgeries to fix. Surgeons worked tirelessly surgery after surgery to put his face and leg back together, and the nurses worked around the clock to support my dad and family.

My dad is a fighter and fought every day to get stronger. His dedication to his work is admirable, and I am so proud of him. Boston Medical Center gave my dad his life back and provided me with my dream job as an ICU nurse. Now it is my turn to give back to them.

Check out our entire “Why I’m Running” series.


Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.