Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador Award

The military and civilian recipients of this award are all beneficiaries of military medicine. They embody the message that advances in military medicine benefit all.

Jessica Kensky, a native Californian, and Patrick Downes, a native Cantabrigian, met on Capitol Hill in Washington in 2006 after graduating from the University of Arizona and Boston College, respectively. Jess soon moved to Baltimore where she received a nursing degree at Johns Hopkins and then worked in the medical center's oncology department. Patrick returned to Boston to finish a doctorate in clinical psychology.

After a few years in a long-distance relationship, Jess moved to Boston and continued her oncology nursing at Massachusetts General Hospital. Jess & Patrick were both injured during the Boston Marathon bombing; Jess losing both of her legs below the knee and Patrick losing one leg below the knee, among other injuries.

Jess and Patrick have spent the last year and a half at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland after receiving special permission from the Department of Defense. They have a home in Cambridge, MA that they will return to after their rehabilitation at Walter Reed.