BOSTON (CBS) – Following a difficult 2013, one family has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

Their 12-year-old son, who was seriously hurt in the Boston Marathon bombings, is almost fully recovered.

Aaron Hern’s room is filled with all kinds of awards, but he seems most proud of a pair of shoes and the message they carry.

“And I made them the Boston Strong colors. And I had the initials for the people that died,” he said.

Hern, who lives in California, was waiting for his mom Katherine to cross the finish line when the bombs exploded.

“All of a sudden, I blacked out, and everybody was screaming, and it was way different. I knew what was happening,” he said.

He suffered serious leg injuries.

“Muscle damage, yeah; pretty much everywhere down to the bone, but the bone was fine,” he said.

Family and friends are still amazed by how Aaron has recovered. He was back on the field just three months after the bombing. He keeps swimming and is playing on his football team.

His triumph even got the attention of First Lady Michelle Obama. But like a lot of good athletes, Aaron remains humble.

“There’s things in all sports I could work on,” he explained.

The Herns say they’ve got a lot to be thankful for, including a new baby.

Aaron’s mom Katherine said she’s especially grateful to the community that came together and has helped them through.

“It was very humbling, and overwhelming, and something that I don’t think we could ever be thankful enough for. It was very much a part of his recovery and our recovery,” she said.


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