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Heroic College Student Recalls Aiding Boston Marathon Bombing Victim

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Michael Rosenfield Michael Rosenfield
Michael Rosenfield is the New Hampshire Bureau Chief for CBS Boston’s...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Countless ordinary citizens ran toward the chaos Monday after the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon finish line.

They just wanted to help.

One of them, Robert Wheeler, had just completed the race and was savoring the thrilling moment.  “A minute of bliss,” the college student said.

But the elation did not last long. Just about 60 seconds after Wheeler completed the race, the first bomb exploded and the 23-year-old senior at Framingham State University ran toward the blast.

“I hear this woman saying, ‘Help my father, help my father, fix my father,’” Wheeler said. “I took off my shirt and wrapped it around his leg.”

Soon, photos of the shirtless college student helping out a stranger went viral on the Internet.

The victim’s left leg was bleeding profusely. “I kept his leg up on my shoulder to keep it above his heart; stop some of the bleeding,” Wheeler said.

The Framingham State student now wants to know how the man he helped is faring. All he knows is that the injured man’s name is Ron and he was wearing a Northeastern University sweatshirt. After a marathon volunteer moved Ron from the bombing scene, Wheeler never saw the injured man again.

“I’ve been concerned about his well-being,” Wheeler said. “I haven’t slept much. I’d like to know how he is.”

Wheeler said he relied on just his first-aid certificate and interest in sports medicine to get him through those frantic few minutes of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“As much as it is a tough experience, I’m happy I was there,” he said. “I hope I made some difference in some way.”

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