Two Brothers Watching Race Lose Legs in Boston Marathon Bombing

An injured woman is tended to at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. Credit: AP

Witnesses of Monday’s Boston Marathon carnage reported seeing many serious leg injuries, including legs being blown off.

“These runners just finished and they don’t have legs now,” Rhode Island state trooper Roupen Bastajian told the New York Times. The former Marine said he personally tied half a dozen tourniquets on victims. “So many of them. There are so many people without legs. It’s all blood. There’s blood everywhere. You got bones, fragments,” he added.

That fate tragically struck one family twice on Monday. Liz Norden, a mother of five, says that two of her sons lost a leg in one of the blasts.

She describes the unfolding of Monday’s event to the Boston Globe, which began with a call on her cellphone:

“Ma, I’m hurt real bad,” said her 31-year-old son. He was in an ambulance, he told her, being rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

It was her second boy, who had gone with his older brother to watch a friend run in the Boston Marathon.

On the phone, her son said his legs were badly burned in an explosion. His brother had been next to him, but he didn’t know where he was.

Within the next two hours, amid frantic phone calls and a panicked drive into Boston, Norden pieced together the horrific truth that will forever change her two sons’ lives — and her own. Each of the brothers lost a leg, from the knee down. One was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess, while the other was at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. ‘I’d never imagined in my wildest dreams this would ever happen.’

Reporter Patricia Wen took note that the mother, sitting in the waiting area of one of the hospitals, was wearing mismatched socks, an indication of the rush in which she left the house.

She said, “I feel sick…I think I could pass out.”

Norden, who had not yet seen her sons when the report was filed, said she didn’t want to disclose the names of the 31 and 33-year-olds without their consent.

Both are high school graduates and avid fishermen who were recently laid off from their jobs as roofers, according to the Boston paper.

Their friend, Mike Jefferson, whom they had come to watch run in the marathon was also at the hospital waiting to see them and hear an update on their condition.

He told the Globe that he was about a quarter of a mile from the finish line when the explosion that injured his friends occurred.

The girlfriend of one of the brothers was also injured, suffering serious burns, according to the paper.