BOSTON (CBS) – Monday afternoon, Celeste Corcoran of Lowell went with her daughter Sydney and her husband Kevin to watch her sister, Carmen, finish her first Boston Marathon.
“I’d talked to Celeste at my lunch hour and they were on Newbury Street having lunch and you know just so excited that Carmen was in the race and ready for it to be finished,” Celeste’s aunt, Amy Pellerin said.
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Amy talked to her niece, who is also her goddaughter, one more time that afternoon just eight minutes before the first bomb went off. “She called me at 2:42 and said I’m at the finish line and we’re trying to find Carmen so you can talk to her when she’s completed the race,” Amy remembered.
In Indianapolis, where she lives, a co-worker told Amy there were reports of a bombing at the finish line of the marathon. She tried to call back, but got voicemail. Back in Lowell, Celeste’s uncle Al would end up receiving and passing along the devastating news. “We got a call from her brother saying she was seriously hurt and in intensive care at the hospital. We kind of waited around with baited breath for more news and then more news came in that she’d lost both of her legs. It was tragic,” he said fighting back tears.
Celeste had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee. Her daughter, an 18-year-old high school senior, also hit with shrapnel, suffered severe arterial injuries. Both have undergone surgeries and will likely need more. But family members say, their spirits are unbelievably high. “When they came in the same room, Celeste told her daughter, Sydney, we can have a pajama party,” Al said.
In June of 2011, Sydney was hit by a car at a family gathering in Salisbury and suffered a fractured skull. “She’d recovered from that which was about a year long experience,” he said. “Got hit by a car and then hit by a bomb, I mean, how much can one kid take,” Amy added.
Mother and daughter are side-by-side at Boston Medical Center. Their family members are vowing to do whatever it takes to help them get through this. “I’m just going to give them a hug and tell them I love them and be there for them,” said Amy, who just drove in from Indiana and will visit the hospital on Thursday.
At least two funds have been set up to help the family. One is at Enterprise Bank on Main Street in Tewksbury. The other is on the online fundraising site, www.gofundme.com/celesteandsydney. Celeste’s cousin, Roger Morrissette, says the outpouring of support so far is touching. “It brings a tear to my eye because there are good people out there,” he said. “Even people that don’t know them from all over the world are donating.”