Christine Lewis said it was a beautiful day to volunteer at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
The Seekonk woman went to the marathon with a group of therapeutic massage and nursing students from Bristol Community College.
"When we were there everything was so quiet and I remember one of my colleagues saying to me, 'This is almost surreal,'" she said.
Then two explosions turned a tranquil day into bedlam.
"We heard it and felt it, which was crazy because it was two blocks away," Lewis said.
She was inside a makeshift medical unit during the first blast. Afterward, Lewis and other students were evacuated and outside for the second explosion.
Lewis's and other volunteers' training kicked into high gear and instead of running, they started helping.
"They were cold, they were tired. They didn't know what happened either and they couldn't find the people that were there to observe them. So it was mostly emotional support more than medical support," she said.
It was torture for Lewis's mother who saw the news, but couldn't get through to her daughter.
"I just looked out my front window and I waited by the phone and I waited and I waited," said Priscilla Lewis-Pina, Christine's mother.
Lewis returned home almost five hours after the first explosion, and she didn't cry then.
But a day later, she mourns those lost and injured and wonders how a perfect day ended so horribly.
"We were clapping for the folks crossing the finish line. They came in at certain times. And we're clapping congratulations. And I can't imagine that someone would come in there … and not see their family," Lewis said.
Lewis said everyone in her group returned home safely.
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