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Beyond The Finish Line - NY Times Updates Boston Marathon's Jeff Bauman


Per The New York Times:

"Jeff Bauman stared straight ahead, his eyes wary and unconvinced, as his doctor told him the next procedure would be easy and painless. He sat in his wheelchair at Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Jeffrey Kalish, his primary surgeon, explained how a resident would remove the sutures from his legs.

"Most of Bauman’s legs were gone. He had been waiting for his girlfriend near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 when the first of two bombs detonated and blew them off. An iconic sporting event had turned into a scene of chilling devastation, and a photograph of Bauman in the aftermath, his legs gruesomely lost, later became a searing symbol of the attacks.

"The day of the bombings, Bauman had had an emergency, through-knee amputation that lasted about two hours. A surgeon had sifted through layers of skin, tissue and muscle, preserving what was healthy, cutting what was dirty and sick. He had removed what was left of Bauman’s lower legs at the knee joints.

"Two days later, Kalish had performed a formal amputation at about four inches above the knee. He had measured the legs and cut each layer — skin, tissue, muscle and bone — farther up in the thigh, like a staircase. Then he washed out the legs for 10 minutes, tucked the muscle, and stitched the tissue."


"The day after the concert, Bauman was going to try to walk. His prosthetic legs had been made, and now the thigh sockets needed to be fitted. At his last appointment at United Prosthetics, he had taken a few short steps, but Martino had held his hips. Martino wanted him to walk on his own now, to see how everything felt and if any more adjustments were necessary.

"Bauman’s mother, his girlfriend and a few others gathered to watch in a hallway narrow enough that Bauman could reach the railings on each wall. He was in his wheelchair as he rolled the gel liners onto his thighs. He held his left thigh and squeezed it.

"Martino held the legs in place as Bauman pulled on the sockets. He strapped the liners to the sockets as Martino adjusted the knees and set the feet on the ground, with their black, size-10 ½ sneakers. Bauman scooted forward in the chair, grabbed the railings and pushed himself up. Martino had a hold of him and helped him stand all the way up."

Full article after the jump...