Among the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing attack, the Richard family of the city’s Dorchester neighborhood suffered an especially grievous toll.
Martin Richard, 8, was killed when a bomb detonated as he stood with his family April 15, cheering runners near the finish line. His younger sister, Jane, had part of her leg blown off. His mother, Denise, lost sight in one eye. And his father, Bill, suffered burns and shrapnel wounds to his legs, as well as some hearing loss.
On Thursday the family issued a statement giving medical updates for its surviving members and thanking emergency responders and others who have helped.
Seven-year-old Jane, the statement said, is recuperating this week from her 11th surgery, and has successfully fought off infections and other complications after being unresponsive in the first two weeks after the attack.
“Last night’s operation marked an important milestone, as doctors were finally able to close the wound created when the bomb took her left leg below the knee,” the statement said.
The family alludes to, but does not give specifics of, the difficult task of telling Jane about the bombing and, presumably, her brother’s death.
“She woke up with difficult questions that needed to be answered,” the statement says. “There are not words to describe how hard sharing this heartbreaking news was on all of us.”
Bill and Denise Richard were discharged from the hospital a week after being admitted. Henry, Martin’s big brother, has returned to school. The family is staying in the neighborhood where Jane is being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital and plans to remain there until she is discharged.
“The outpouring of support from friends, family and total strangers has been incredible, and it is uplifting to our family in this most painful and difficult time,” the family says in the statement. “Well-wishes reach us, and they help more than anyone can know.”