BOSTON (CBS) – Two brothers, who were badly injured in the attack at the Boston Marathon, are telling their story in a new book.
It’s been almost a year since the bomb at the finish line took the right leg of both Paul and J.P. Norden. The two are now walking again and they just released their book “Twice as Strong.” The book details their recovery.
“I was on the ground and I was a little confused. I thought I got punched, but when I tried to get up with this leg and I couldn’t get up I looked down and my leg was off already,” J.P. Norden remembers. “And I was on fire and I was burning and I started putting my legs out, my pants were on fire.”
For J.P there is no forgetting. He and Paul had gone to the finish line as a last second decision to cheer on a friend. They were next to each other when the second bomb went off.
“I was yelling to him and he couldn’t hear me and the first responders ran over and started putting tourniquets on me and telling me to lay down and relax, everything is going to be all right,” J.P. says.
Paul also lost a leg and was taken to a different hospital. He was put into a coma and wouldn’t wake up for a week. J.P. had no idea.
“Pretty much every day I was like hey Ma can I call him and she was lying to me, didn’t want to tell me he was in a coma because she didn’t want me to try to leave the hospital and try to see him.”
The day finally came where the two were brought back together.
“I’ll never forget that day,” J.P. says.
“It was awesome,” Paul says. “But it was tough to see him like that too. Yeah I cried because it was real hard, I don’t like seeing him hurt so that was like really hard.”
They were close before. They are even closer now. In the year since, both have been fitted with prosthetic legs, and continue working to get used to them, but there are moments of frustration.
“I was trying to rake the leaves one day and it was like a struggle and when I can’t do something I used to be able to do I get very frustrated, but obviously as time has gone on it’s gotten a lot easier,” Paul says.
They don’t talk about the bombing. They won’t watch the upcoming trial for the bombing suspect. Instead they focus on the positive things in life, their family and their friends. A message they share in their book.
“We want to inspire people to just live life better, if we can,” Paul says.
“I think our biggest message would be to live life to the fullest and not wait for something bad to happen to realize there’s so much good in the world,” J.P. says.
Before the blast they were roofers. Initially they thought that was over. They’ve decided having one leg won’t stop them from getting back to work. They’re now they are in the process of starting a new roofing business.
Paul is now engaged to the woman who stood next to him at the time of the blast. She was also badly hurt. Since then she has stood with him throughout the recovery and will walk with him down the aisle.
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