Ava Harlow, 20, from Amesbury north of the city, was visiting friends when she was trapped under the Green Line trolley late on 27 January when the train was leaving the BU Central Station, according to CBS News Boston.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) police said that Ms Harlow knocked on the window to tell her friends to get off the train when she lost her footing and fell under it.
She was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in critical condition after being rescued by firefighters.
“Ava was intubated on about seven different medications at the intensive care unit and it was still dicey as to whether she could live,” father Andrew Harlow told CBS.
While she’s no longer considered to be in critical condition, the recovery will be tough.
She had to have a leg amputated below the knee, with her other leg being broken. The 20-year-old’s skull was also fractured, her arm broken, and pelvis crushed, and she required stitches on her face.
“I want to know who the guy was who tied her tourniquet. I want to know who it was that resuscitated her the first time, then the second time. I’m just grateful to the guys,” Mr Harlow told CBS.
He told the outlet that his daughter is studying law enforcement at Bridgewater State University.
Richard Sullivan, a spokesman for MBTA Transit Police, told The Boston Herald that the incident took place around 11.30pm on 27 January. Mr Harlow said he was notified of the accident at about 3am the following day.
He said he received that “dreaded 3am phone call that every parent in the world dreads,” as he was notified of the incident by his ex-wife.
The MBTA said the accident “does not appear to be the result of any mechanical or MBTA employee failure,” The Daily News of Newburyport reported.
But Mr Harlow told The Boston Herald that he has retained a lawyer and that the incident was preventable.
Of the train operator, he said, “he could have [seen] that she was banging on the friggin’ side of the car and not pulled away”.
“They have mirrors. They have horns. They’re supposed to toot the horn before they take off,” he said.
Two of Ms Harlow’s friends were unaware that their group had left the train.
“As the trolley was pulling out of the station, the victim was knocking on the trolley window in an attempt to garner her friends’ attention,” Mr Sullivan told the paper. “In doing so, the victim took a step in the direction of travel as the trolley, while still knocking on the trolley window and lost her balance falling under the trolley.”
“On behalf of the Transit Police and the MBTA, we are all praying for the victim’s health and recovery,” he added.
Mr Harlow told the paper that “she has a long road ahead of her, but she’s talking”.
“She knows what’s going on,” he said, adding that she’s a “very hard worker ... tough, smart, resilient,” and that she’ll “reach her full potential”.
Mr Harlow said he was “numb” after the accident.
“I can’t speak for my ex-wife, other than she’s completely horrified, and in so much pain and disbelief,” he added.