The Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is known as a place of mental and physical rebuilding, superhuman strength, and raw inspiration. But on September 12, it was transformed into the site of a ritzy red-carpet movie screening. Stronger, the story of Jeff Bauman, Boston Marathon bombing survivor and double amputee, premiered in the very gym where he made his recovery.
Bauman, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, captured hearts garnered attention from around the world with an iconic photo that embodies the spirit of Boston Strong. Many people remember the man in the cowboy hat, Carlos Arredondo, who was pictured rushing Bauman away from the finish line.
Stronger tells Bauman's story of recovery in as real a way as possible. For five days, they filmed in Spaulding's Charlestown facility, using real patients, real therapists and other real people who have been a part of Bauman's journey over the last four years. Bauman said, of the decision to also premier the movie at Spaulding, "I gotta say it will be a wild trip watching the film in the exact same spot where I learned to walk again!"
The events of April 15, 2013, were beyond imagination, but there was no better time for the opening of a world-class rehabilitation facility.
"We feel this is an extraordinary opportunity to honor this special time of healing in our city's history and to raise awareness of the critical role of rehabilitation medicine to help people of all abilities find their strength."David Storto, President, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
The new state-of-the-art, patient-centered Spaulding Facility in Charlestown had been in the works for years. But no one could have planned for it to open its doors just 12 days after the bombing. Bauman and 31 other survivors suffering from some of the worst injuries were embraced with some of the best rehabilitation capabilities in the country.
Stronger is about more than just one man's incredible tale. It's a window into the inner strengths and struggles that patients and their families experience at Spaulding and at home every day. It's an honest portrayal of Spaulding's mission of empowerment for the people they serve. For David Storto, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and Bauman's primary doctor at Spaulding, "We feel this is an extraordinary opportunity to honor this special time of healing in our city’s history and to raise awareness of the critical role of rehabilitation medicine to help people of all abilities find the strength."
Stronger can be seen in theaters across the U.S. on September 22. The trailer can be viewed here.