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A photograph of a man being taken in a wheelchair following the Boston Marathon terror attack, with his face covered in blood, a wounded leg and screaming in pain, has now become iconic. The 65-year-old man is Eric Whalley, who has just gained consciousness on Wednesday night for the first time after the bombings.
Mr. Whalley might lose his sight and suffer permanent brain damage while his wife, 65-year-old Ann, remains on a respirator. The couple were at the race when the two bombs went off near the finish line. They have undergone a dozen surgeries since Monday to remove multiple ball bearings and nails.
Their son, Richard, saw the iconic picture on the internet and tried to find out whether his parents were still alive. He posted:
His friends helped him and began making calls to different hospitals in the area until they found them in different locations.
Eric Whalley was struck in the skull and eye, he had a blood clot on one side of his brain, he may lose his sight. There is also the chance he will suffer brain damage. Eric had orthopedic surgery on his right leg. His wife, Ann Whalley, has a badly injured right foot and remains on a respirator with more damage to tissue than to bone. They both will require at least two more weeks of hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation.
After talking with his father on Wednesday, Richard said:
“He was just barely talking, but he was understanding what we said. I told him his photo was on the front page of the Daily Mail. He started laughing.”
Eric and Ann Whalley are originally from England, they came to Colorado in 1990 and eventually obtained US citizenship. They both enjoy hiking and walks around their new home in Boston.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Eric Whalley works in the Biotechnology field.
Eric Taylor Whalley was born on January 04, 1948. He lived in North Andover, MA from 1997 – 2010, in Arvada, CO around 1995, and in Broomfield, CO from 1990 – 1991.
Richard Whalley’s friends from MIT have created a website to help his parents with their medical expenses. Find the links below.