STONEHAM - Boston Marathon bombing victim Marc Fucarile finally regained consciousness and spoke to family members this week after sustaining horrific injuries alongside several others with local ties in the Patriots' Day terrorist attack.
During a press conference at Mass General Hospital on Monday afternoon, Fucarile's fiancé, Jen Regan, expressed extreme gratitude for the outpouring of support she and her family has received since the Stoneham native was rushed to the Boston medical facility with his body riddled with shrapnel and covered with burns.
Fucarile, who has a five-year-old son named Gavin, was one of at least six people who reside in or were born in Stoneham who were hurt in last Monday's twin bombings.
The SHS alumnus, whose brother, Edward Fucarile is a member of the Stoneham Police Dept., lost his right leg above his knee, has shrapnel near his heart, and has first, second, and third degree burns over half of his body. His left leg also sustained multiple fractures in the blast.
"Even though his heart was physically damaged, it did not lessen the size of his incredibly loving heart," said Regan, who was joined by her future husband's brother and father.
"In classic Marc fashion, the first words he said to me when he woke up were, 'I'm sorry for being there. I love you and Gavin,'" his fiancé recalled during an emotional press conference. "He then proceeded to ask how his friends were, just proving how Marc is worried about everybody else but himself."
Members of the Fucarile family are asking members of the press and the public for their privacy at this time, so they can focus all of their attention on the recovery of their injured kin. The local resident remains in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Mass. General Hospital, and he is expected to remain there for a considerable amount of time.
"We ask you for your patience and for our privacy at this time, so we may concentrate our full energy on helping Marc get well," Regan commented on Monday.
Though the family is asking for space to heal, Stonehamites can help the bombing victim by making a donation to one of several charity accounts set up in his name. Those seeking donations to help defray the costs of Fucarile's medical care and recovery are hoping to raise $500,000.
As of Monday morning, $62,174 had been raised. To make a contribution, logon to helpmarcfucarile.com. Donations can also be mailed to The Marc Fucarile Fund; c/o Stoneham ME Federal Credit Union; 40 Pine Street; Stoneham, MA 02180.
The several other victims who sustained serious injuries in the terrorist attack are also making strides towards recovery, though they too face a long road ahead of them.
Stoneham resident Joseph "J.P." Norden and his brother, Paul, both lost a leg in one of the bomb blasts while cheering on a family friend who was running in the race.
Paul, a Stoneham native and Stoneham High graduate, reportedly regained consciousness after undergoing one of several surgeries last Saturday, according to a Facebook page established for the family.
Paul's girlfriend, Stoneham resident and Winchester real-estate agent Jacqui Webb, was reportedly standing right next to the second bomb when it detonated, leaving her with burns and shrapnel damage to both of her legs.
She has been in surgery several times, most recently this Monday, when doctors were able to close several gaping wounds in her limbs, according to her family.
"Jacqui is out of surgery and doing well. The surgeon ended up doing a new procedure…to close her three large wounds, so she was thrilled she didn't have to get a skin graph," Webb's sister, Kristen Loehning, explained in a posting to an Internet-based recovery fund.
Those looking to make a donation for the Nordens or Webb may do so by logging on to www.facebook.com/WebbandNordenRecoveryFund or www.gofundme.com/2mwd0c. So far, good Samaritans have donated $64,853 to the victims, whose supporters are hoping to raise $1 million for their medical and recovery needs. Donations can also be mailed to The JP & Paul Benefit Fund; Mass Family Credit Union; P.O. Box 615; Lynn, MA 01903.
Just recently, another charity account has been established for yet a fifth bombing victim, Stoneham resident Jarrod Clowery.
According to Clowery's family, the self-employed carpenter lost 85 percent of his hearing in the blasts, has third degree burns on his hands and legs, and has shrapnel littering his legs that doctors have determined cannot be removed.
Though he too faces a long road to recovery, the Stoneham man appeared in good spirits on Monday, when he posted a message to the charity website in which he envisioned leaving the hospital with the rest of his friends injured in the explosions.
"Well, can't sleep, so just sending thanks to everyone for all the love. My boys are doing great and all I can do is think of us rolling out of here together…I feel like the whole city is giving me and my friends love," Clowery wrote.
Those looking to help Clowery can logon to www.gofundme.com/2ndup8. Yet another fund has been established to assist all of the local victims in the form of www.stonehamstrong.com, while StonehamBank has also established a fund.
Also on Monday, May 24, a fundraiser will be held at the Montvale Plaza on behalf of the local residents. There will be music, food, and raffles, and tickets are $10 at the door. Anyone with questions can contact either Keri Sinclair at 781-727-3310 or Shawn Thomas at 339-235-9888.