Marathon Bombings Victim Who Had Half of Leg Blown Off Had To Have Both of His Legs Amputated, Has No Clue How Bad He Was Injured
Photo shows bystander helping 27-year-old athlete who was watching girlfriend run.
Above: Jeff Bauman Jr., 27, was hurt in the Boston Marathon explosions and had to have both legs amputated, his father said.(Photo: Charles Krupa, AP)
Jeff Bauman Jr. was at his first Boston Marathon, cheering on his girlfriend with her roommates near the finish line.
A moment later, a thunderous flash mangled the 27-year-old athlete’s legs. A photographer captured the shocked, ashen victim being wheeled away, aided by medics and a Good Samaritan in a cowboy hat. The photo — cropped to not show the full effects of the bomb blast — received wide play across the Internet and in newspapers.
Tuesday, Bauman’s father delivered the sad news that doctors at Boston Medical Center had to amputate what was left of both lower legs.
“Unfortunately my son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the senior Bauman wrote on Facebook.
Jeff Bauman was also burned on his back and his right eye was injured. He remained in critical condition Tuesday night.
His family learned of his injuries from Facebook after the photo went viral.
His stepmother toldThe Philadelphia Inquirer that although he has responded to questions and commands, he is not completely aware of his situation or how badly he is hurt.
“We’re all just gathering around him, loving him, telling him we’re here for him,” said Csilla Bauman, who lives with Bauman’s father in New Hampshire.
Jeff Bauman grew up with his mother in Chelmsford, Mass., near Lowell, but has family roots in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Several aunts and uncles rushed to Boston when they heard the news, and more relatives were on their way.
“He has a big family,” Csilla Bauman said.
Bauman played hockey (he’s a Philadelphia Flyers fan), baseball and basketball. He works at a Costco and plays guitar and sings in his off hours.
And the rescuer in the cowboy hat in the photo?
He is Carlos Arredondo, who was supporting five marathoners from the Run for the Fallen, who were in running to honor Maine servicemembers who died in battle. His son, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, of Bangor, was killed in Iraq in 2004 during his second tour.
Arredondo was handing a small American flag to a National Guardsman who had just completed the race when the first blast hit.
He and his friend John Mixon darted across Boylston Street to reach victims. Mixon began tearing down the fence and scaffolding, but Arredondo leaped over. He tried to stanch Bauman’s bleeding before helping him into a wheelchair.
“I kept talking to him. I kept saying, ‘Stay with me, stay with me,’ ” Arredondo told the Portland Press-Herald.
Mixon told the Bangor Daily News that Arredondo “was unbelievably calm. He’s the warmest, most gentle man I’ve met in my life.”
Arredondo’s other son, Brian, committed suicide in 2011 after battling depression for years following his brother’s death,
“The guy has been through so much tragedy, and to react the way he did under that kind of stress and pressure is just amazing,” said Mixon, who plans to run the marathon next year.
Peace activist Carlos Arredondo is being hailed as a hero after a photo of him wearing a cowboy hat and assisting victims of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing went viral.
Arredondo, who is a native of native of Costa Rica and lost a son in the Iraq war, told The Washington Post that he had come to the Boston Marathon watch National Guardsmen race in honor of fallen soldiers.
After the bombs exploded, Arredondo said that he jumped a security fence where one man was missing his leg below the kneee.
“Stay still,” Arredondo recalled telling the man. “You’re okay. Relax.”
He was joined by another man — an EMT — who assisted as he tied tourniquets to stop the bleeding. After someone arrived with a wheelchair, Arredondo picked up the injured man and helped roll him in search of an an abulance.
“Ambulance! Ambulance! Ambulance!” he screamed until they found an emergency vehicle to take him to a hospital.
In a video posted to YouTube on Monday, Arredondo is visibly shaking as he describes the incident — still holding the blood-soaked American flag that he brought to the marathon.
“There are so many people that need help,” he said. “But can only help one at a time. So, I just helped that man.”
“I did my duty,” Arredondo later told the Post.
Arredondo’s wife, Mélida, explained to Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman on Monday that she and her husband began speaking out against violence after their son, Brian, reacted to the 2004 death of their son, Alexander, in Iraq by committing suicide in 2011.
“To be quite honest, since we lost Brian in December of 2011, Carlos and I have been trying to just stay sane and have been working real hard to promote awareness about suicide, both in the military and among military families,” she said. “But I knew when that bomb went off, after the second bomb went off, I knew that Carlos was there, because his training as a first responder—he’s in the disaster relief for the American Red Cross—that’s his instinct, and to go and help. And he’s helped other people who have been injured over the years in fires and things like that through his work.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, government officials said that three people were killed and at least 176 were injured when the two bombs exploded on Boylston Street.
[USA Today / The Raw Story]