CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- 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 hometown, 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?"
Space to heal
A week after the Boston Marathon, the Dorchester community gathered at a tall public clock in Peabody Square to support friends and neighbors grievously affected by the bombing attack near the finish line: the Richard family.
The vintage tower clock in the Boston neighborhood had been stopped for several days at 2:50 p.m. to mark the moment on April 15 that an explosion on Boylston Street killed 8-year-old Martin Richard and severely wounded his mother, Denise Richard, and little sister, Jane.
Martin's father and big brother, Bill and Henry Richard, escaped significant physical injury.
Last Monday afternoon, according to local news reports, the clock was restarted in a quiet public ceremony attended by scores of residents and public officials.
On Tuesday, private funeral and burial services were held for Martin.
"We laid our son Martin to rest, and he is now at peace," Bill and Denise Richard said in a statement.
The couple added: "The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous. This has been the most difficult week of our lives and we appreciate that our friends and family have given us space to grieve and heal."
There was no immediate information available on the medical condition of Denise and Jane Richard.
Jane Richard, 7, is a first-grader at the Neighborhood House Charter School, according to Bill Forry, managing editor of the Dorchester Reporter weekly newspaper, who knows the family. Martin was a third-grader at the school, Forry said, and Denise Richard is a librarian there.
Forry said the mother is a native of Dorchester and a civic leader. "A very eager, energetic person who's always out on the streets," he said. "She would walk the kids everywhere. Very invested in Dorchester as a citizen, as a mom."
Friends who live near the Richard family told stories of singing Irish songs with them in their kitchen late into the night, of the entire family pitching in for every volunteer effort — decorating the float for the Dorchester Day Parade, helping at the neighborhood chili cook-off, and collecting trash in the annual Boston Shines cleanup project.
The family's church, St. Ann Parish Neponset in Dorchester, was filled for an emotional service April 21, the Boston Globe reported.
"We also pray for immediate healing from Denise's and Jane's physical injuries," the church said in a statement on its Web site. "We can only imagine the suffering that the Richard family carries today, as a result of the Boston Marathon tragedy, will be with them each day of their lives."
Loved one unaware
Benjamin Coutu was watching TV footage of the Boston Marathon bombings when he did a double take. Was that his good friend's younger brother, Kevin White, being carted away by paramedics?
"I waited by the TV to see it again," Coutu said. "I'm like, 'Man, I think it is.' "
Coutu had not seen White in a decade; he had been closer with Andrew White, Kevin's older brother. As he watched and re-watched the footage, he thought to himself: "Maybe I'm making too much of it. Maybe I want to personalize." He got out his camera anyway, snapped a photo of the screen, and sent it to Andrew.
In Portland, Ore., Andrew's phone was "buzzing constantly," Coutu said. The clinical psychologist was in a session, not knowing what had happened on the East Coast, not knowing that his mother, father and brother had been seriously wounded in a bombing, Coutu said.
"Apparently, it was Kevin trying to get through," Coutu said.
By that evening, Coutu said, Andrew was on a plane to Boston to be with his family members.
Their injuries, Coutu said, were serious. Kevin White had trauma to his abdomen and several hairline fractures; he was released from the hospital April 17, Coutu said.
Kevin and Andrew's mother, Mary Jo White, had a seriously wounded hand and was discharged April 19, Coutu said.
And Kevin and Andrew's father, Bill White, remains hospitalized after being transferred out of intensive care last week. One of his legs was severed below the knee, Coutu said.
Kevin, Mary Jo and Bill did not know anyone running in the marathon, Coutu said, but they decided to grab lunch in Boston and watch the race.
Coutu, 38, of Fitchburg, Mass., said he spent time with Andrew White — a classmate from Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass. — on the night authorities apprehended the second suspect.
They hugged and reflected on the culmination of a "crazy week."
"There's such a relief, and honestly the best part was seeing the cheering crowds in Watertown on TV," Coutu said. "We were just both happy that he was caught, not just for safety but for the morale of everyone watching."
"Marathon Monday is pretty amazing to witness," Liza Cherney tweeted on Patriot's Day 2012 as she witnessed her first Boston Marathon.
Cherney, a native of Novato, Calif., returned to Boylston Street this year to cheer on fellow Boston College business school classmate Meaghan Zipin, who was running to raise money for charity.