Richard "Dic" Donohue
Resilience and Adaptability in the Face of a Traumatic Event
Sergeant Richard “Dic” Donohue is a native of Winchester, Massachusetts. He has worked in law enforcement as a member of the MBTA Transit Police Department since 2010. Donohue is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and holds master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and the University of Limerick, Ireland. Prior to a career in law enforcement, Sergeant Donohue worked in the hospitality industry and served as an officer in the United States Navy.
In the early morning of Friday, April 19th, 2013, Donohue, then a patrol officer, responded to back up local law enforcement officers in Watertown, Massachusetts. A gun battle ensued with two suspects who were later identified as the Boston Marathon bombers. A bullet severed Donohue’s femoral artery and he suffered severe blood loss on site. He was given immediate lifesaving care, prolonged CPR, and received multiple blood transfusions. Given a two percent chance to live, Donohue pulled through and began a long process of recovery.
After two months in hospitals, Donohue returned home where he continued rehabilitation. He returned to the force almost two years after he was injured, and shortly thereafter was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. For his actions in Watertown, he received the state’s highest law enforcement award, the George L. Hanna Medal of Honor, and the department’s highest award, the MBTA Transit Police Medal of Honor. Sergeant Donohue has been recognized by over 20 law enforcement and civic organizations for his involvement following the Boston Marathon Bombing, and his role in community service.
Since his release from the hospital in June, 2013, Sergeant Donohue has brought his story of survival, resilience and adaptability to police academies, law enforcement executives, students and private sector audiences. He also works as a spokesman and board member for the American Red Cross, an organization he credits for his survival. Donohue currently lives outside of Boston with his wife and son.