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Boston Marathon: Family doesn't know if Torrance man will recover

April 18, 2013|By Kate Mather

The Torrance businessman critically injured in the Boston Marathon bombings has undergone multiple surgeries, but his family doesn't know if he will survive, his son-in-law said Wednesday.

John Odom was watching his daughter, former UCLA softball player Nicole Reis, run her first Boston Marathon on Monday and was standing near the finish line when the bombs went off.

Odom, in his 60s, is chairman of the board at Murray Co., a mechanical and underground piping contractor in Rancho Dominguez. 

Matt Reis, a goalie with the New England Revolution and former soccer player at UCLA and L.A. Galaxy, provided an update on his father-in-law's condition Wednesday morning.

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack

Odom was alert Wednesday morning but still in critical condition, Reis said in a video interview, adding that Odom had undergone three surgeries in about 40 hours.

"He hasn't really stabilized yet. We're still hoping," Reis said. "He's progressing a little bit, but we're talking about footsteps here and not very big strides."

Reis said a group of seven had gathered at the finish line to watch his wife finish the race. Odom was about 10 feet away from the blast; the rest of the group had moved farther down the course about a minute earlier, Reis said.

VIDEO: Boston marathon explosion

"It was like a cannon going off," he said. "At first I thought that it was part of the race, but I knew it wasn't .... My son was on my shoulders, so I handed him off to my brother-in-law. I knew [the explosion] was right back where we were, so I wanted to try and get back in there and help."

Reis said his family has been though "a roller-coaster of emotions ... happy and sad and angry and pretty much everything" but are "trying to be strong -- strong for each other, strong for John and trying to give him as much as he needs to fight this."

"We just want John to get better and to turn the corner and just start to really show some strides of recovery," he said. "We're still not sure if he's out of the woods yet. We still don't know if he's going to make it, so that's definitely the hardest."

Three people were killed in the blasts and more than 170 others injured. One of the women killed was a former UC Riverside Extension student; in addition to Odom, at least two other Californians were wounded.

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Twitter: @katemather | Google+

kate.mather@latimes.com

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