July 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM ET
With a crutch in his left hand and a conductor’s baton in his right, a Boston police officer who nearly died in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in April helped out the Boston Pops on Thursday night.
In the latest chapter of his remarkable recovery, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority police officer guest-conducted the Boston Pops' annual Fourth of July concert for a rendition of “I’m Shipping up to Boston” by one of his favorite bands, Dropkick Murphys.Officer Richard Donohue, 33, nearly bled to death after being wounded during a shootout with suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev on April 19. A bullet in his left thigh hit three major blood vessels, and stopped his heart.
“We have a special guest with us tonight, a man who is the living embodiment of an everyday hero,” Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart said in introducing Donohue. “Please welcome one of the people who make us Boston Strong, Dic Donohue.”
The crowd waved American flags as Donohue conducted the orchestra, before raising a fist in exhilaration at the end of the song. Donohue was discharged from the hospital on June 14 and still suffers from nerve damage that makes it hard to walk.
In a July 4 celebration in Needham, Mass., members from the Watertown police, MIT police and Donohue's fellow officers were honored in the town's annual Grand Parade.
The 40th edition of the Boston Pops concert marked the first major gathering in Boston since the marathon bombing. While Donohue's appearance was a highlight, the crowd was thinner than usual with heightened security and high temperatures, according to the Associated Press.
Donohue was there to help honor all of the Boston-area first-responders who assisted in the aftermath of the bombing.