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Concord family aiding son, Jeff Bauman, pictured in iconic Boston Marathon photo

  • The Bauman brothers in April 2011. From left, Chris Bauman, Alan Bauman and Jeffrey Bauman.

    The Bauman brothers in April 2011. From left, Chris Bauman, Alan Bauman and Jeffrey Bauman.

  • An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • The Bauman brothers in April 2011. From left, Chris Bauman, Alan Bauman and Jeffrey Bauman.
  • An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Jeffrey Bauman was lying on the ground near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, grasping the hands of his girlfriend’s two roommates. Just seconds before, they’d been waiting with a sign to hold up when she completed the race.

He wanted the girls to get help before he did. He didn’t realize how bad his own injuries were. But before he knew it he was in a wheelchair, and a man in a cowboy hat was pinching one of Bauman’s severed arteries. He told Bauman to do the same on the other leg: Hold it, tighten it, hold it, tighten it. It all happened so fast.

This is what Bauman, 27, remembers from the aftermath of two explosions Monday that killed three people and injured more than 170. It’s what he told his father and stepmother, Jeff and Csilla Bauman of Concord, when he was conscious enough to speak Tuesday evening. Bauman’s pain, and the heroism of Carlos Arredondo, the man in the cowboy hat, have been immortalized in one of the most gruesome but iconic photos of Monday’s horror.

Bauman, who is from Chelmsford, Mass., lost both of his legs from the knee down, Csilla Bauman said yesterday morning. He was the first person in surgery at Boston Medical Center on Monday because his injuries and blood loss were so severe. He went back into surgery yesterday so doctors could clean up the area of the wounds, she said.

Bauman’s story has captivated the nation, due to the photo and Arredondo’s heroism. It’s also given people a very real look into consequences of the bombing. That attention has helped fuel a fund established by Bauman’s high school friends that had raised more than $30,000 in just 20 hours.

The elder Jeff Bauman was at work in Concord on Monday afternoon when he got a frantic call from his stepdaughter, Erika Schneider. His son had been hurt; she had seen it in a photo. Jeff could barely believe it, but Erika was able to confirm that it was Bauman. Erika and Csilla’s other daughter drove down to Boston immediately. Jeff waited for Csilla, who was at work in Exeter. He needed her support.

The car ride down to Boston was horrific, Csilla said. She, Jeff and their son Chris were in the car. They prayed, they cried, they tried to believe that maybe Bauman was okay. He was sitting up in the picture, maybe that was a good sign, Csilla thought. She never saw the uncropped image that shows her stepson’s leg in shreds. She never wants to see it.

“I said, ‘Look, he’s sitting up, that’s a positive thing. He’s sitting up, he’s going to be alright.’ But right before we got to the hospital my daughter called and let us know the horrible news of his legs,” Csilla said. “We were crushed – for him, not for us. We were crushed for him, because he is so young. This man is such a great young person, so happy.”

Bauman was out of surgery when they arrived. Over the next day, nearly 30 family members and friends arrived, including his mother, Patty Bauman. Jeffrey Bauman has an older brother, Tim, two stepsisters, Erika and Csilla Schneider, and two half-brothers, Chris and Alan Bauman, who grew up in Concord with Jeff and Csilla. Alan is in military training in San Antonio, Texas, but was able to talk to his brother on the phone Tuesday night. Bauman’s girlfriend, Erin Hurley, was also there. She was about a mile from the finish line when the bombs exploded.

“(We) coached Jeffrey through it, we told him, ‘Come on, let’s go, you gotta get back with us, and everything’s going to be alright,’ ” Csilla said. “That’s all you can do, you can only talk to them.”

About 7 Tuesday night, he no longer had any tubes in his mouth and was conscious and able to speak. He is being positive, Csilla said.

“It was really hard for us, and his father . . . he was upset, crying, and said, ‘Jeff, we thought we were going to lose you, we thought you were going to be gone,’ and my stepson just kind of smirked a little and said, ‘I could hear you all,’ ” she said.

It’s unclear right now how much longer Bauman will be in the hospital. He will need extensive rehabilitation and likely some counseling, Csilla said.

Bauman grew up and still lives in Chelmsford. He works at the Costco in Nashua and is trying to save up money to go back to school to study civil engineering. His father and stepmother moved to Concord from Manchester in 2002. Although Bauman never lived with them, he visits Concord often. The family is active in Concord Youth Hockey, and Bauman and his brothers would skate together at Everett Arena when he visited.

Bauman is also an avid guitar player, Csilla said. And he’s a fan of all Boston sports teams.

The family is determined to keep his injuries from destroying his life, Csilla said.

“He did not deserve this,” she said.

Without Arredondo, the story might be much different.

“If that man wasn’t there, my son would have bled to death because his wounds were so horrific, he would have been among the dead,” Csilla said.

Arredondo was handing out American flags to people near the finish line, and was there to support members of the National Guard and a suicide support group running in honor of his two sons. One died in Iraq in 2004 and the other committed suicide.

When the first explosion happened, he jumped over a fence and ran toward the victims, he told WEEI radio in Boston yesterday morning. He knelt down next to Bauman, whose legs had been blown off and was bleeding profusely and began talking to him to calm him down. Bauman was conscious.

“He was a very good listener, and he was awake the whole time. He really is a strong man,” Arredondo said in the interview.

Arredondo found a sweater on the ground, ripped it and tied it around Bauman’s leg to try to stop the bleeding. He picked up Bauman and placed him in a wheelchair. Then, as the image shows, he grabbed one of Bauman’s severed arteries as Bauman was wheeled toward an ambulance. As of yesterday morning, he hadn’t talked to the family, but both sides were hoping to connect.

When Arredondo, a Costa Rican who speaks with an accent, ran into the chaos, he said he had one thought: “When I jumped the first fence and I start running, I pray God to protect me and everybody else.”

A group of Bauman’s high school friends are raising money to cover his costs of living while he is out of work and to help his family make their homes handicapped accessible. People can donate at gofundme.com/BucksforBauman, through PayPal or buy visiting any TD Bank branch and donating to the “Bucks for Bauman” fund. The group hopes to raise enough money to get wheelchair ramps installed for Bauman by the time he is out of the hospital, said Jillian Harvey, an organizer.

“We’re trying to raise funds now so we can have some of that done before he gets there,” Harvey said. “A lot of people can’t donate a lot, but if everybody can donate a little it adds up.”

She’s known Bauman for a decade and said he’s a fun-loving, kind person who always has a joke or a smile to share.

“For something like this to happen to him is just surreal,” she said.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or
kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

I will be running for Jeffrey at the Stonyfield Earthday 5K. I thoughts will be with him and his family.

How did Carlos Arredondo's two sons die?, and what branch of the military service is Jeffrey's half brother Alan in? in San Antonio, Texas. What really bothers me about the Feds getting involved, is not that they are helping AFTER the fact, but that of BEFORE the fact, of there be too many legs in Congress. Of this the way NOT to blow off legs of the innocent and ignorants, but that of since the governor can appoint for vacancies he ought to also be able to reduce by subtraction for when there's a penalty, like in the 14th Amendment, Section 2 as MAss. and N.H. and nine other states do not elect their "judicial officers" (N.H. Article 82 as an example of court clerks appointed) and so have got to pay the penalty: a temporary penalty so as to actually have MORE legs in Congress from N.H. by revising The Reapportionment Act of 1929 since the U.S. Senate represents the minoriry interests of We The People and so needing MORE Federal Reps for the majority. Maybe the Beauman family can insist that N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassen do her Article 51 duty of to execute this Federal law of in The Constitution and so appease whoever did this bombing that corrections in gov't are being made so as not to do any more damages. Of then to put some Federal Funds into Research & Development so that maybe someday we, as humans, can re-grow limbs of like a frog.

Mr. Haas you are entitled to your political opinions, but I am not sure commenting on this article is the appropriate platform nor is it necessary. Regarding what branch Jeffrey's brother is in or how Mr. Arredondo's sons died has no relevance to what the story is about. The fact remains that Mr. Arredondo saved Jeffrey's life and the Baumans are beyond grateful for that fact.

This is a very poorly written article. It's too bad because it's an important one.

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