I am sure everyone will recognise this picture, as it has recently been broadcast widely round the globe. It has become a searing image of the terrible Boston bombings, which shocked the world. The man in the picture, covered in blood and screaming in agony, has been identified as Eric Whalley, 65, a retired British scientist. He and his wife Ann were both seriously injured whilst watching the finish of the Boston Marathon.
In Eric's case, he lost part of his foot and suffered from a blood clot to the brain which has damaged his eyesight. Eric's wife Ann, also 65, was initially thought to have been killed, and also had serious injuries to her foot, which needed major surgery. The couple have between them had to have around 12 surgical operations or more to remove all the shrapnel from the bomb. He and his wife have now been reunited in hospital and are hoped to be on the mend. However it is thought that Eric may lose his sight and have permanent brain damage. Ann is still on a respirator.
Eric is a former lecturer in pharmacology from the UK, who relocated to Massachussetts with Ann around 24 years ago. Their son Richard, 25, used social networks, in particular Facebook, to try to find them after the bombings. He saw the picture of his father on the news and posted it on the Internet, asking for help from people to trace them. He was worried that his mother had been killed, as there was no word of her at first. His friends helped spread the word and his parents were eventually both traced, when it was found out they were in separate hospitals.
Richard, together with his 34-year-old brother Chris, have started an online fund to help pay their parents' considerable medical bills. They need to raise £140,000, and people have already generously donated around £83,000 or more. It just proves that there is more good in the world than bad, that is what I try to remember when these terrible acts of human evil happen. It looks as if the couple in this case, who are hikers and liked walking around the city, may be in wheelchairs for some time to come and will need extensive rehabilitation.
Let's hope all the donations help with their recovery. If anyone wishes to donate to the fund, this is the link:
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Picture courtesy of www.mirror.co.uk