News & Events

Tufts MC Patient Pops the Question–and His Shoulder–During 2015 Boston Marathon


This past April, Bob Turek, 57, traveled to Boston from his home in Highland, Indiana, to run in his third consecutive Boston Marathon, his eleventh and final marathon overall. At mile 21, he stopped at the side of the road to pick up a dry hat and gloves from his girlfriend of three-and-a-half years, Veronica Franco. To her surprise, Turek got down on one knee, pulled a diamond ring out of the pocket of his running shorts and proposed; she said yes!

Officially engaged and on cloud nine, Turek ran off to complete the race. At mile 25, with the finish line in sight, he began pumping his fists in celebration. Suddenly, Turek felt a searing pain – he had dislocated his left shoulder. Turek knew what had happened right away, but decided to run the final mile nonetheless. He crossed the finish line at 3:54:40.

“My goal was to finish the marathon in less than four hours and get engaged,” said Turek. “Nothing was going to stop me from accomplishing both objectives.”

At the medical tent, the first responders were unable to pop Turek’s shoulder back in, so he was transported to Tufts Medical Center in an ambulance. In the Emergency Department, a care team led by Emergency Medicine Physician Jesse Rideout, MD put Turek’s shoulder back into place.

“Every year our Emergency Department gears up for Marathon Monday—it’s as much of an event for our staff as it is for the runners,” said Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine Brien Barnewolt, MD. “Over the years, we’ve seen many different Marathon runners’ injuries, but never before did we have a patient with such a significant injury and such a unique story to go along with it. Thankfully, we were able to place his shoulder back in position and get him on his way.”

“The doctors, nurses and staff were phenomenal and treated me with the utmost respect,” said Turek. “I’ve never met a nicer group of people in the medical profession. I never want to end up in the hospital again, but if I do, I hope the experience is just like the one I had at Tufts Medical Center.”

Turek was discharged by 8 pm that same day, in plenty of time to celebrate his engagement and the completion of his final marathon.