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Boston Bombing Victim’s Family Inspired by Daughter / NYT

August 16, 2013  |  Share
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By JENNIFER PRESTON

On the four-month anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings on Thursday, the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed, published an update on their Tumblr blog. They discussed the constant pain they feel over the loss of their son and described the inspiration they are drawing from their daughter, Jane, 7, who lost a leg in the blasts but has made remarkable progress with a prosthetic leg.

“When she is able to have it on, she struts around on it with great pride and a total sense of accomplishment. Her strength, balance and comfort with the leg improve every day,” Denise and Bill Richard, of Dorchester, Mass., said as they shared the first photo of their daughter. “Watching her dance with her new leg, which has her weight primarily on the other leg, is absolutely priceless.”

Denise Richard, who was also seriously injured in the bombings, is well known in the Irish dance community in Boston, and Jane took lessons in nearby Milton every Tuesday. The Irish dance community nationwide has rallied around the family.

At the time of the blasts, the two children and their mother were near the finish line in Boston’s Back Bay, waiting to cheer on their father and husband, who was running in the race.

Martin would have turned 9 years old on June 9.

Here is the family’s full statement on Tumblr, which also mentions their son Henry:

Jane RichardCourtesy the Richard FamilyJane Richard

Today marks four months since our family, and indeed our community, were savagely and cowardly attacked for reasons we remain at a loss to understand. While we have made progress with our physical injuries, the emotional pain seems every bit as new as it was four months ago.

An hour doesn’t go by that we don’t feel the agony of Martin’s death and the senseless way it came about. The pain is constant, and even the sweetest moments can become heartbreaking when we are struck by the realization that “Martin would have loved this…”

But it is not all heartbreak for our family, as we are making progress on this long, difficult and painful road forward. After three months in hospitals and hundreds of hours of physical therapy and other work at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Jane was discharged a few weeks ago. That night was the first time any of us slept at home in our own beds since before the bombings. We left home together on April 15, and we were determined that none of us would sleep at home until all of us could do so. As so many things have been, returning home without Martin certainly made that important milestone bittersweet, but we know he was with us, as he is every moment of every day.

Jane continues to be an incredible source of inspiration — and exhaustion. The loss of her leg has not slowed her one bit, or deterred her in any way. As we knew she would, when we finally returned home, Jane walked into the house with the aid of her crutches, but under her own power. She has since received her prosthetic leg. And while she is getting more comfortable with it, she is also limited with how much she can wear it at any one time. When she is able to have it on, she struts around on it with great pride and a total sense of accomplishment. Her strength, balance and comfort with the leg improve every day. Watching her dance with her new leg, which has her weight primarily on the other leg, is absolutely priceless.

As for the rest of us, we are still dealing with our injuries and their impact on our lives. But we are also making progress, and just like Jane, we each endure the occasional setback here and there along the way.

Henry has continued to be strong, attentive and protective of all of us. He has also managed to be busy this summer, having attended a few cool overnight camps and occasionally sneaking away to spend time with close friends.

Throughout all that has happened, we have worked hard to maintain our bond as a family. With the love and support of family and friends, including those who were total strangers just four months ago, we feel like we are succeeding.

 

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