August 16, 2013

As girl learns to use new leg, family mourns lost son

The family of Jane Richard and a young boy killed in the Boston bombings try to balance life's sweet moments with the deep sorrow they can't shake.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — A 7-year-old girl who lost part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings is learning to use a prosthetic leg as her family still mourns the death of her older brother in the April attack.

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This photo released Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, by the Richard family shows Jane Richard, 7, who lost part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, walking on a prosthetic leg in Boston. The family of Jane and her late brother Martin, 8, who was killed by one of the blasts, said in a statement that the little girl is already dancing on her prosthetic leg and “struts around on it with great pride.” (AP Photo/Richard Family)

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This April 11, 2013 photo provided by the Richard family shows, Martin Richard, 8, in Boston, the youngest of three people killed in the bombings, Monday, April 15, 2013, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.The family of Martin and his sister Jane, 7, who lost part of her left leg in the blast, released a photo Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 showing her walking on a prosthetic leg, and said in a statement that she is already dancing and “struts around on it with great pride.” (AP Photo/Bill Richard, File)

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The family of Jane Richard and the late 8-year-old Martin Richard said Thursday she already is dancing on her prosthetic leg and "struts around on it with great pride."

"While we have made progress with our physical injuries, the emotional pain seems every bit as new as it was four months ago," the Richard family said in a statement Thursday.

Parents Bill and Denise Richard also were hurt in the attack April 15, when two shrapnel-loaded pressure cookers exploded near the marathon's finish line, killing three people and injuring about 260 others. Denise Richard lost sight in one eye, and Bill Richard suffered hearing loss. Their 11-year-old son, Henry Richard, was uninjured.

Authorities say two ethnic Chechen brothers from Russia living in the Boston area orchestrated the attack. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, has pleaded not guilty. His older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died following a gunbattle with police three days after the bombings.

The Richards say they're still coping with the agony of losing Martin "and the senseless way it came about."

"The pain is constant, and even the sweetest moments can become heartbreaking when we are struck by the realization that, 'Martin would have loved this,'" they said in their statement.

Jane came home from a rehab hospital a few weeks ago. That night, the family slept together at their home in the city's Dorchester neighborhood for the first time since Martin's death. They'd been determined none of them would sleep in their own beds "until all of us could do so."

The Richards said Henry and Jane return to school in a few weeks and the family will begin exploring a "meaningful and impactful way" to honor Martin's memory.

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