A Jackson State University alumnus has been among those providing critical medical care to victims of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
Dr. Gregory A. Antoine, chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Boston Medical Center and at the Boston University School of Medicine, said he thought the city was under a terrorist attack after witnessing the chaos and destruction wreaked by the bombs.
“At the hospital, we got somewhere around 22 victims. I personally treated four. Most of the injuries involved the lower extremities. A large portion of them were not salvageable and many wound up with amputations,” said Antoine, a 1972 graduate of JSU.
Antoine said one of the patients was the man credited with providing the FBI with key information to help identify the bombers.
“Last week was a long week. I was working 70 hours. Things have calmed down,” Antoine said on Monday. “We got a large influx of patients (last week). We spent two days washing out their wounds and making decisions about whose limbs we could salvage and whose limbs we could not salvage. These were healthy young people and people who were just standing near where the bombs exploded.”
The bombs killed three and wounded at least 180. The scene in the aftermath of the bombings has been described as a war zone. That is a setting of which Dr. Antoine is familiar after having served in both the Army and Navy before retiring as a decorated colonel. Antoine took care of patients during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope, on which the film “Black Hawk Down” was based.
“I operated on all of those injured in Operation Restore Hope,” Antoine said.
Antoine is the first African-American plastic surgeon to head a division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at a non-historically black medical school in the United States.
“It’s important for people to know that Jackson State has graduates in all strata of our society,” Antoine said. “I’m a Jackson State alum who is doing my part to contribute.”
Antoine received his medical degree from the State University of New York School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Buffalo. He completed his residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Georgetown University Medical Center.