Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador Award
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.