Boston's bombing victims, like the city itself, are on the mend

April 24, 2013|By Maria L. La Ganga
  • David Robbins of Needham, Mass., places flowers at the site where the first bomb detonated April 15 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street.
David Robbins of Needham, Mass., places flowers at the site where the first… (Michael Dwyer / Associated…)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- As Boston's Boylston Street edged back to normal Wednesday, the hospitals that treated the men, women and children injured during the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line announced some good news: Just 39 patients remain in their care, down from 138 at the peak of the carnage.

And only one was believed to be in critical condition Wednesday, a patient at Boston Medical Center.

As that hospital announced on its Facebook page: “BMC has 8 remaining patients of the 23 Boston Marathon victims we received. Six are fair, one is serious and one is in critical condition. Keep sending the love and support!”

Kaitlynn Cates, 25, was released Tuesday night from Massachusetts General Hospital, where she has undergone a series of skin grafts to repair shrapnel damage to her right leg. The damage was so severe that she feared the limb might be amputated.

But her boyfriend, Leo Fonseca, 41, raced her to the hospital after the blasts, reportedly going the wrong way down Boston’s twisty streets. Multiple surgeries later, she is on the mend, said Corey Comeau, Fonseca’s cousin.

“She lost about 30% of her right calf muscle,” Comeau said. “It’s almost like a shark bite. It’s not something they can sew up. There’s a chunk of flesh missing. It was fortunate it was only soft tissue damage.”

Comeau said that Cates “has a long road of therapy ahead of her” and that Fonseca was injured in the bombing, too, which claimed three lives and wounded more than 260.

“He had two blown ear drums,” Comeau told The Times. “He’ll get some of his hearing back. There will always be permanent damage. He just needs to go home. He’s been by her side every hour since [that] Monday. He just needs to go home and get back to life.”

The two men work together at Stephanie’s on Newbury, where Comeau is executive chef and Fonseca is director of operations. Stephanie’s has two sites and plans to open a third this summer. The Newbury site is back in operation, but “ground zero was our back door,” Comeau said.

Comeau said Fonseca “keeps alluding to coming back to work. I keep saying, ‘Yeah, sure, you’ll get there when you get there.' "

And next year? The family plans to field a team to run the 2014 Boston Marathon.

“I’m going to run,” Comeau said, and so will Cates’ doctor and two sisters. “Leo and Kaitlynn will come back from physical therapy and try to run.... If we all have to walk together, we’ll walk together.”


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