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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 16th, 2013
06:35 PM ET

ER doctor on Boston bombings: 'Everyone was my patient'

Just yards away from the site of the explosion was a medical tent with a full compliment of doctors and nurses who were at the Boston Marathon volunteering to help with runners. As the bombs went off, they rushed out to tend to the wounded.

"It felt like everybody was my patient," said Christina Hernon, an emergency room physician from UMass Memorial Health Care. Hernon was just one of the heroic doctors who ran out to help.

"We heard and felt the first noise," Hernon said of the initial blast. "I knew I had never heard or felt anything like that before, and I definitely felt it throughout my whole body."

Hernon said after the first bomb, she immediately wondered if there was a gas explosion, if something fell, or if something backfired.

"After the second one, I found myself thinking of a colleague of mine that was in the Baghdad ER, and his description of being in a place providing medical care and hearing loud noises outside and wondering how close they were," said Hernon.

People began yelling for help, for additional doctors and nurses to please come to the finish line.

"And people did, not knowing what they were walking into, which amazes me," said Hernon.

The doctor recalled one injured victim, a child, and describes the haunting reaction in his eyes, which she said were just staring.

"I didn't really see fear or sadness, I just saw empty and confused," said Hernon.

Hernon has volunteered at seven Boston marathons, and said this year they were staffed with even more doctors because last years's race was so hot - a move that may have saved many lives at this year's race.

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