Patrick and Jessica Kensky Downes, newlyweds, who each lost their lower left leg in the Boston bombings. (Photo from Jessica's Facebook page)
Patrick and Jessica Kensky Downes, newlyweds, who each lost their lower left leg in the Boston bombings. (Photo from Jessica’s Facebook page)

A week after the Boston Marathon bombing, only the most seriously injured are still hospitalized. Sacramento native Jessica Kensky Downes and her husband Patrick are among them. As Martha Bebinger of WBUR reports, the couple were at the finish line when the explosions ripped through the crowd. Patrick and Jessica both each lost the lower part of their left legs.

From WBUR:

Friends are having a hard time reconciling this news with memories of the joyful pair who married just last August.  Smiles in photos of Jessica and Patrick jump off the screen.

“But that’s not just a photograph,” says Leslie Kelly, who watched Jessica grow up just outside Sacramento, Calif.  “Those two are the happiest, most optimistic, wonderful people,” continues Kelly, which provides “a real good foundation for both of them going forward.”

Jessica’s right foot was also badly damaged in the blast, but the family has told friends it looks like it can be saved. And Patrick’s third surgery went well. …

“When Patrick came to, he asked if the Red Sox had won,” says Boston College buddy Tom Treacy. “It sounded like they were certainly in good spirits.”

The couple, who married last August, live in Cambridge, Mass. WBUR reports that Jessica, 32, is a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital. Patrick is 29 and is completing a graduate degree in psychology.

Kelly has set up an online fund to help raise money to support the couple through their hospitalization and rehab. People have already donated more than $600,000 to a GiveForward campaign. (There are GiveForward campaigns for other victims of the Boston bombings as well.)

The Sacramento Bee printed part of a statement from family members expressing their gratitude: “Your support in just 24 hours is overwhelming, there are no words to describe what your outpouring of kindness and generosity means to our family as Patrick and Jess start their long road to recovery.”

An update Monday morning on a special Facebook page devoted to the couple says they are both in surgery today. Patrick is already out and doing well.

Sacramento Native and Her Husband Face Amputation, Rehab Together After Boston Bombings 23 April,2013Lisa Aliferis


Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED’s State of Health blog. Since 2011, she’s been writing and editing stories for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years (more than we can count) producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco’s CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. Her work has been honored for many awards. Most recently she was a finalist for “Best Topical Reporting” from the Online News Association. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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