Jacqui Webb has had three surgeries at Tufts Medical Center in Boston in the past week to repair damage to her leg and clean a wound where shrapnel ripped a hole through her right calf, her uncle said.
Both her hands, which were burned in the blast, are covered in bandages. Shrapnel is still lodged in different parts of her body, William Webb said. The partial hearing loss she suffered in the April 15 attack has abated on its own.
William Webb said his family is just grateful that “Peanut,” as the family knows her, is alive and recovering.
They owe the credit, he said, to her boyfriend, Paul Norden, and his brother, J.P., who pushed Jacqui out of the way and onto the street when the second bomb exploded. Paul and J.P. Norden each lost a leg as a result of the blast.
“We’re just very happy and proud that somebody did that for my niece,” William Webb said. “As long as he lives, we are there for him. Whatever he needs.”
William Webb said his niece, who has a twin sister, Janel, lives in Stoneham, Mass., her home town, which is less than 10 miles north of Boston. Jacqui, a real estate agent, graduated from Stoneham High School and attended Suffolk University.
“She’s just a sweetheart of a girl,” her uncle said.
A huge Red Sox and Bruins fan, Jacqui loves to travel and spend time with her family and her boyfriend of 10 years, William Webb said.
Going to the Boston Marathon had almost become a family ritual. “She goes just about every year,” William Webb said. “I used to go when we were kids.” He said his parents were also in the crowd but were not injured.
Jacqui and her boyfriend were there to cheer on a friend. They stood near the finish line, not far from where 8-year-old Martin Richard was standing before he died, William Webb said.
“She loves life, and that’s what these two guys tried to erase — people’s lives,” he said.
William Webb said he remains concerned about the toll the tragedy will take on his niece. “She’s going to bounce back physically,” he said. “But what is it going to be like for her and others emotionally?”