Stories of the dead and injured in Boston bombing

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Patrick and Jessica Downes married in August. According to an email sent to friends, Patrick had surgery Wednesday and is out of intensive care, while Jessica was in surgery and in jeopardy of losing one of her feet.

Friends who set up a page at GiveForward.com to raise money for the couple’s expenses said they first started dating in 2006.

Patrick graduated from Boston College and was so well-behaved in high school that he was nicknamed “Jesus.” They described him as the “ultimate Boston boy.”

“He has that accent that makes it impossible to tell if he’s saying ‘parking’ or ‘packing,’ he’s no more than two degrees of separation from Whitey Bulger (or so he claims), and he cried his eyes out when the Sox finally won the World Series,” the site said.

Jessica, described as a sassy California girl, is a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“She has the spirit of a lion,” the site said.

A spokesman for GiveForward.com said the page got so many hits Tuesday that it crashed.

AARON HERN:  A TOUGH COOKIE

Eleven-year-old Aaron Hern was there with his father, Alan, and little sister, Abby, to cheer on his mother, Katherine, in her first Boston Marathon when the bomb went off. After initially becoming separated, Alan found his son lying injured on the ground with leg wounds.

“He was conscious, he talked to me and said, ‘My leg really hurts, daddy,’ but he was being pretty brave,” Alan Hern told KGO-TV.

The family is from Martinez, Calif., and Alan Hern is the Alhambra High School varsity football coach, KGO reported.

Aaron remained in critical condition at Boston Children’s Hospital on Wednesday and underwent three to four hours of surgery on his leg, the hospital said.

His mother said in a note posted online by Kiwanis Club of Martinez that Aaron was trying harder and harder to communicate through a touchpad. She said it was stressful because he was starting to remember everything and getting upset.

The mother of Aaron’s best friend, Katherine Chapman, told The San Francisco Chronicle that Aaron was an outgoing and fun-loving kid.

“A tough cookie, an athlete and a scholar. He gets good grades and participates in every sport and is good at everything he does. He’s one of those kids that everybody loves,” she said.

His 12th birthday is May 1.

JEFF BAUMAN JR.: LOST BOTH LEGS

Jeff Bauman Jr., a man pictured in an Associated Press photo from immediately after the blast, lost both his legs as cheered his girlfriend on in the race. He survived the trauma after people rushed him away from the explosion site in a wheelchair.

Rescuers took the 27-year-old victim to Boston Medical Center, but doctors had to amputate his legs because of extensive vascular and bone damage, a Facebook post from his father said Tuesday.

“Unfortunately my son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the elder Jeff Bauman wrote.

The son also had to have more surgery later because of fluid in his abdomen. His condition improved later.

“I just can’t explain what’s wrong with people today to do this to people,” the father wrote. “I’m really starting to lose faith in our country.”

BRITTANY LORING: AN AMBITIOUS STUDENT

“We’ve had so many calls. Everybody’s just upset over it,” grandmother Philomena Loring told the Lowell Sun. “I put her on the prayer line at my church.”

Loring is simultaneously pursuing degrees in law and business administration at Boston College. She’s also a runner, finishing 80th in the Boston College MBA 5K on April 6.

HEATHER ABBOTT: BEST FRIEND TURNED, FOUND HER GONE

Heather Abbott, of Newport, R.I., was entering a bar with friends as the bomb went off. Her best friend, Jason Geremia, told WJAR-TV that everyone ran out the back. Once he got there, he realized Abbott wasn’t with him. He turned to go back when he saw a bouncer carrying her down the stairs.

“I said, ‘Give her to me. Give her to me.’ And he was like, ‘Do you know her?’ I said, ‘Yes, yes. That’s my best friend.’ I said, ‘Give her to me.’ He said, ‘No, no, no. Look at her leg.’ It was very tough to see that.”

Her leg was severely injured. Another friend took off his belt, and they used it as a tourniquet.

Geremia spent much of Monday and Tuesday at the hospital, along with Abbott’s parents, who are from Lincoln, R.I.

“It’s very, very hard to see her,” Geremia said.

JOHN ODOM: CHEERING HIS DAUGHTER

John Odom’s daughter, Nicole Reis, was running the marathon as a member of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Marathon team, and he was there to support her. Her husband, Matt Reis, is the goalie for the Major League Soccer team the New England Revolution.

Odom was around 10 feet away from the first bomb when it went off, Matt Reis told reporters at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Wednesday, where he visited to thank teammates for their support. Odom remained in critical condition and had undergone three surgeries in about 40 hours, he said.

“He hasn’t really stabilized yet, and we’re still hoping,” he said. “He is progressing a little bit, but we’re talking about footsteps here and not very big strides.”

 

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