Woman hurt in North End chimney collapse has long road to recovery, family says

Erin Field, 21, is currently in Massachusetts General Hospital recovering from injuries she suffered when a chimney collapsed on top of her.
Field Family photo
Erin Field, 21, is currently in Massachusetts General Hospital recovering from injuries she suffered when a chimney collapsed on top of her.

A woman who was hurt in a chimney collapse at a North End building this month has lost feeling in her arms and legs and remains hospitalized, according to her family.

Erin Field, 21, is currently in Massachusetts General Hospital’s intensive care unit recovering from the injuries she suffered when the chimney gave way on July 11, falling on top of her while she was lying in a hammock on the roof of an apartment building on Charter Street.

The Field family has set up a GoFundMe page for her.


Her 18-year-old sister, Riley Field, wrote on the page that Erin will “most likely not regain the usage of her fingers” and “it would be a miracle if she can walk again,” but the family is trying to stay positive.

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“Erin is coherent, responsive, and enjoys the company of her family,” Riley said in an e-mailed statement to the Globe. “We are staying very positive through all of this and appreciate the support from everyone.”

Erin was on the roof of her brother’s apartment building with her boyfriend when the heavy brick chimney cracked under the weight of the hammock and landed on her. Her boyfriend, who was also on the hammock, was not injured.

According to the GoFundMe page, her boyfriend lifted the chimney off of her, and her brother called 911.

First responders arrived at the scene at 45 Charter St. around 12:12 a.m. and helped extricate her from the debris and place her on a backboard, and then a Boston Fire Department ladder truck was used to lower her to the ground, officials said. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she remains.


The GoFundMe page states that Erin suffered injuries to her ribs, lungs, and C6 vertebrae. She had to undergo surgery on her spine and now has a metal rod that runs from her lower neck to her mid-back to stabilize her. Her family expects her to spend “at least 2 or 3 weeks” at the hospital, and then she’ll be moved to a rehabilitation center where she’ll begin to work on regaining the use of her arms and hands, according to the GoFundMe page.

A native of Maine, Erin was about to enter her senior year at Goucher College in Maryland, where she majors in English and played two years of field hockey. She planned to study in London this fall.

Jessica Gleason, a friend of the Field family, called what happened “a tragic accident.”

“It’s eye-opening . . . how precious life is, and how quickly things can change,” Gleason said.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.