Marathon victim in photo has both legs blown off [VIDEO]
Photo shows bystander helping 27-year-old athlete who was watching girlfriend run.
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 told The 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.
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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.
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